Disappointing performances from Malaysia's women

KUALA LUMPUR: Achieving their targets do not mean anything if the Malaysian team fail to capitalise on the opportunities.

This was how BAM Coaching Director, Rexy Mainaky, summarised the Malaysian women's performance in the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) today.

Malaysia crashed out of the quarter-finals after losing 3-0 to defending champions Indonesia at the Setia City Convention Centre.

As a result, Malaysia missed out on qualifying automatically for the Uber Cup Finals in April, as only the top four teams will make the cut.

While admitting that the level of competition this year is way stiffer than the previous edition, Rexy was disappointed that his charges did not take their chances against a second-tier Indonesian side.

In the first singles, K. Letshanaa fought hard but it was not enough as the world No. 57 went down 21-12, 18-21, 21-13 to world No. 33 Putri Kusuma Wardani.

Hopes were high on top women's doubles pair, Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, to level the score, but the former French Open champions were a big letdown as they suffered a 21-14, 18-21, 21-15 upset to world No. 30 Lanny Tria Mayasari-Ribka Sugiarto.

The huge responsibility of keeping Malaysia alive in the tie fell on the shoulders of Wong Ling Ching, but it was too much to bear for the 20-year-old, who despite putting up a gallant fight, still lost 14-21, 21-15, 21-16.

"I admit that the competition this year is tougher than it was two years ago when the Malaysian women's team reached the semi-finals.

"Teams like Japan, Thailand and India have sent their best players," Rexy said.

"However, I still believe our players should have taken their chances, especially against an Indonesian side who are without the likes of Gregoria Mariska Tunjung (world No. 7) and their top women's doubles (Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti).

"For players like Letshanaa and Ling Ching, they need more self-belief that they can do it. They fought well, and at times seemed like they could do it, but they didn't.

"Pearly-Thinaah didn't look comfortable on court and their opponent capitalised on this.

"The players need to understand that you can't always be in your best condition, but it is how you manage it. If you have to win with a broken leg, so be it," Rexy lamented.

Despite the defeat and not qualifying for the Uber Cup on merit, the Malaysian women's team can probably still sneak in through the back door because of their team ranking points.

It also helped that countries like Hong Kong and Singapore, who are ranked lower than Malaysia, did not reach the semi-finals.

Indonesia will play Thailand, who defeated Taiwan 3-1, in the semi-finals while India will play Japan.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories