MALAYSIA edged closer to the quarter-finals of the Thomas Cup 2024 after they got off to a flying start in their Group D campaign with a massive 5-0 win over Hong Kong at the Chengdu High-Tech Zone Sports Centre, here in China today.

Professional men’s singles shuttler, Lee Zii Jia got the ball rolling for Malaysia as he managed to survive a tight contest in the earlier stage of the first match against world number 15 Lee Cheuk Yiu before finding his groove to take the opening set 21-18.

Though Cheuk Yiu looked more defiant in the second game by pushing Zii Jia to 15-15, the 26-year-old Malaysian kept his feet on the ground to cruise to a 21-18 victory and delivered the first point for the country.

The 2022 men’s doubles world champions, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik put Malaysia in the driving seat as they scored the second point with a fine display to ease past Law Cheuk Him-Yeung Shing Choi 21-16, 21-12 in just 27-minutes.

Buoyed by a convincing start from Zii Jia and Aaron-Wooi Yik, second singles Leong Jun Hao, ranked 37th, put up a heroic display to upset world number 27 Angus Ng Ka Long in their first-ever encounter that lasted 61-minutes.

Clearly undaunted by the first game loss 17-21, the Kuala Lumpur-born staged a magnificent comeback and was truly on fire in the next two sets to seal the third point for Malaysia with 21-12, 21-15.

Though Malaysia already secured victory, it did not stop Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) 2024 men’s doubles runner-up, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani from maintaining a clean record against Hong Kong in the fourth match.

However, Sze Fe-Nur Izzuddin were made to sweat against Reginald Lee-Tang Chun Man before edging the scratch pair, 21-19, 21-18.

Debutant Justin Hoh rose to the occasion and wrapped up the tie for Malaysia as he survived a gruelling rubber set battle against Chan Yin Chak 21-17, 19-21, 21-17.

Malaysia, five-times champion can qualify to the last eight berth, provided they overcome minnows from North African region, Algeria in the second tie tomorrow before bringing Group D curtain down against 2016 champion and European powerhouse, Denmark on Tuesday.

Only top two from each group progress to the quarter-finals.

The world’s most prestigious badminton team tournament will end May 5.