Tze Yong plays it safe to secure first win of the season

SHAH ALAM: Ng Tze Yong managed at most six jump smashes throughout the match, but it was enough to earn Malaysia a point against Brunei in Tuesday's opening Group B tie of the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC).

Malaysia won the tie 5-0.

Tze Yong, playing in his first full match of the season after sustaining a lower back injury in the opening round of the Malaysia Open last month, played it safe but still made quick work of Brunei's Kan Kah Kit, scoring a 21-7, 21-11 win at the Setia City Convention Centre (SCCC) here.

Tze Yong said he needed to make sacrifices as long as he secured a point for the team.

"I played it safe because I am not 100 percent yet. However, I am happy because this is my first full match of 2024. I also think it's okay to play it safe as long as I could still win a point.

"As for my injury, I am still a bit stiff. I will discuss it with my coaches and physiotherapist. I feel like I'm at 60-70 per cent," said Tze Yong.

When asked if he felt like his Olympic dream was over when he first suffered the injury at the Malaysia Open, the world No. 15 said: "I felt blank because I was training hard for an entire month before that, and I could not show it on the court.

"As for the Olympic dream, maybe a little bit, but I know I am still in the race as I am still in the top 16 (Race to Paris).

"I still have a few more tournaments to go," added Tze Yong, who is No. 15 in the Race to Paris standings, five rungs below Lee Zii Jia.

A country can have a maximum of two players at the Olympics if they are in the top 16 by April.

In the second match, former Asian junior champion Leong Jun Hao thrashed Marhanif Ali 21-5, 21-6 to double Malaysia's lead.

Youngster Eogene Ewe gave Malaysia an unassailable 3-0 lead when he thumped Mattew Minggat 21-8, 21-4 in the third singles match.

Defending champions Malaysia will play Kazakhstan tomorrow before facing Taiwan on Thursday. Only the top two teams will qualify for the quarter-finals on Friday.

The top four teams will also earn automatic qualification to the Thomas Cup Finals in April.


Men's Group A: China bt Hong Kong 5-0.

Group B: Malaysia bt Brunei 5-0 (Ng Tze Yong bt Kan Kah Kit 21-7, 21-11; Leong Jun Hao bt Marhanif Ali 21-5, 21-6; Eogene Ewe bt Mattew Minggat 21-8, 21-4; Choong Hon Jian-Haikal Nazri bt Marhanif Ali-Haziq Roze 21-5, 21-12; Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani bt Mattew Minggat-Iqbal Asyraf Mohamad 21-9, 21-7), Taiwan bt Kazakhstan 5-0.

Group C: Japan bt Myanmar 5-0.

Group D: Indonesia bt Saudi Arabia 5-0, South Korea bt UAE 5-0.

Women's Group X: Indonesia bt Kazakhstan 5-0.

Group Y: Thailand bt UAE 5-0

Group Z: Japan bt Singapore 5-0

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