SHAH ALAM: The Malaysian men’s team began their 2024 Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) campaign in style by trouncing Brunei 5-0 in a Group B match at the Setia City Convention Centre here today.

National singles ace Ng Tze Yong needed just 23 minutes to give Malaysia the first point when he downed Kan Kah Kit 21-7, 21-11.

Leong Jun Hao, fielded as the second singles player, then made it 2-0 with an easy 21-5, 21-6 win over Marhanif Ali before the third singles shuttler, Eogene Ewe, outplayed Mattew Minggat 21-8, 21-4 in just 23 minutes to make 3-0.

Debutants Choong Hon Jian-Muhammad Haikal Nazri also had no problem disposing of Marhanif Ali-Haziq Rose 21-5, 21-12 in the first doubles before Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzudin Mohd Rumsani completed the rout with a 21-9, 21-7 triumph over Mattew Minggat-Mohamad Iqbal Asyraf in second doubles.

Tze Yong, when met by reporters, admitted that the biennial meet was crucial for him to know where he stands regarding the back injury he sustained at the Malaysia Open last month.

“Happy (to be back on court). I think this is my first (full) match this year, so I think it’s good, although I still feel a little stiff... will discuss it with the coach. Right now, I am at the 60 to 70 per cent level.

“When I first got injured, I did feel down because I had trained for months... (that’s why here I prefer to) play safe,” he said.

Tze Yong was forced to concede a walkover in the first round of the Malaysia Open when trailing 8-12 in the first game against Japan’s Koki Watanabe in January.

Malaysia, the BATC defending champions, will take on Kazakhstan next in Group B before facing Taiwan on Feb 15.–Bernama

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