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SHAH ALAM: The national women’s team confirmed their place in the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) 2024 after easily eliminating the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 5-0 today.

Malaysia, the last edition’s bronze medalist, only needed a win in Group Y to advance to the knockout stage at the Setia City Convention Centre here, after Thailand beat UAE with the same score, yesterday.

The real test for the national team, however, will be tomorrow morning’s match against third seeds, Thailand to determine the group topper, with the semi-finalist will earn automatic qualifications for the Uber Cup.

In today’s fixture, former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei drew the first blood, beating Nurani Ratu Azzahra 21-13, 21-9 in 29 minutes.

In the next two singles matches, K. Letshanaa edged S. Madhumitha 21-11, 21-14, while Wong Ling Ching overcame S. Sreeyuktha 21-14, 21-12 to confirm victory with a 3-0 lead.

The Malaysian shuttlers continued their dominating form in the doubles, as national number one Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah outclassed R. Nayonika-Madhumitha 21-4, 21-5 in just 21 minutes, while scratch pair Tan Zhing Yi-Teoh Mei Xing defeated Zainaba Reem Siraj-Sreeyuktha 21-4, 21-14 to complete the perfect win.

“They’re playing their best for their own country, so we just wanted to focus on ourselves more,” Thinaah said after the match, adding she is delighted to play in the tournament after missing the last edition due to Covid-19

Pearly, who was on the same rhythm, said they wanted to focus on their game plan and communication to progress far in the tournament.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) set a minimum target of reaching semi-finals for both the men’s and women’s teams in the BATC this time, to secure an automatic spot in the prestigious Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Finals in April. - Bernama