SHAH ALAM: The national men’s team have qualified on merit for the 2024 Thomas Cup after marching into the semi-finals of the 2024 Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) today.

Malaysia, the defending champions, did it by disposing of Singapore 3-1 in the quarter-finals at the Setia City Convention Centre here, but the achievement was marred by an injury to men’s singles shuttler Ng Tze Yong.

Fielded at first singles, the 23-year-old lasted about three minutes on court before being forced to concede a walkover while trailing Jason Teh 1-3 in the first game due to a suspected recurrence of a back injury, which he first sustained at last month’s Malaysia Open.

Undaunted, Malaysia levelled the scores at 1-1 when top doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik overcame Loh Kean Hean-Howin Wong Jia Hao 21-11, 22-24, 21-14.

Leong Jun Hao then took just 31 minutes to secure the second point with an easy 21-8, 21-12 win over Joel Koh before Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzudin Mohd Rumsani clinched the winning point in the second doubles with a hard-fought 21-6, 20-22, 21-8 triumph over Wesley Koh-Junsuke Kubo.

Sze Fei had mixed feelings after clinching the winning point with Nur Izzudin.

“Satisfied with the first game but not happy with the second as we were too cautious. We should have wrapped it up in straight games,” he said.

Malaysia will face Japan in the semi-finals at 4 pm tomorrow.

Japan’s 3-2 quarter-final victory over 2022 Thomas Cup champions India went down to the wire with Kento Momota clinching the winning point with a nail-biting 17-21, 21-9, 22-20 triumph over Kidambi Srikanth in the deciding game.

The 2024 Thomas Cup Finals will be held in Chengdu, China in April. - Bernama

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