Malaysia – With a 3-0 victory against reigning champions Indonesia on February 20, the Malaysian men’s team won their first Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) championship.
Malaysia’s victory against Indonesia’s second stringers ended their arch-rivals’ hopes of winning the BATC for the fourth time since it started in 2016.
Malaysia’s All England champion Lee Zii Jia had a shaky start to the tournament, losing 14-21 to Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in the first game.
Zii Jia cranked up a gear with a series of scorching assaults, taking a 16-6 lead against the 23-year-old Indonesian before winning the second game 21-12 in front of a 200-strong home audience at the Setia City Convention Centre.
In the rubber match, Zii Jia was too powerful for Chico, thrashing him 21-10 to give Malaysia its first point.
Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, the bronze medalists from the Tokyo Olympics 2020, had to fight for 56 minutes to overcome Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin, who are rated 28th in the world.
Aaron-Wooi Yik, the world number seven, dropped the opening game 17-21 but came back to win the second 21-13. Malaysia won the nerve-wracking rubber game 21-18 to take a two-game lead.
Ng Tze Yong, a young shuttler, then rose to the situation to give the hosts a championship point.
Tze Yong, rated 47th in the world, put on a masterful display as he defeated world number 90 Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay in straight games.
After winning the first game 21-14, Tze Yong maintained his lead in the second before unleashing a tremendous smash to win the match 21-15 and proclaim Malaysia as Asia’s new king.
The audience erupted in laughter. The Malaysian squad raced onto the court to congratulate themselves on their historic victory.
Malaysia got their sweet retribution after losing 1-3 to Indonesia in the 2020 final in Manila, Philippines.
Despite the defeat against Malaysia, Indonesia may celebrate since their women’s team won the BATC championship for the first time today.
In the women’s final, Indonesia triumphed 3-1 against South Korea.
Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin, the Tengku Permaisuri of Selangor, attended the award presentation event and witnessed the men’s final.