AARHUS (Denmark), Oct 11 — With their hopes of a place in the quarter-finals as good as gone, Malaysian Uber Cup skipper Lee Meng Yean has vowed that she and her teammates will continue to fight till the end when they take on Canada in their last Group D match tomorrow (1 am October 12 Malaysian time).
Although they lost 4-1 to Denmark on Saturday (October 9) and 5-0 to China yesterday, the 27-year-old doubles ace feels that the young national team have put up a good fight, so far.
She is also confident that they have what it takes to beat Canada.
“After losing two matches, it’s difficult for us to qualify for the last eight, but we will continue to put up a spirited performance against Canada. We will fight till the end… win or lose,” she said at the Ceres Arena here yesterday.
Earlier, Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei started the ball rolling for China with a comfortable 21-13, 21-11 win over Eoon Qi Xuan.
Liu Xuan Xuan-Xia Yu Ting then made it 2-0 when they downed Meng Yean-M. Thinaah 21-12, 21-17 before He Bing Jiao sealed the winning point with a 21-8, 21-3 victory over debutant Siti Nurshuhaini Azman.
China’s second doubles pair of Huang Dong Ping-Jia Yi Fan then inflicted more misery on Malaysia when they defeated Go Pei Kee-Teoh Mei Xing 21-9, 21-12 before Wang Zhi Yi completed the rout with a 21-15, 21-11 triumph over K. Letshanaa.
Commenting on her doubles match, Thinaah said she and Meng Yean were a bit slow yesterday although their defence was good but admitted that world number 21 Xuan Xuan-Yu Ting were simply too strong in their attack.
Meanwhile, young national shuttler Qi Xuan, who was fielded as first singles against Olympic champion Yu Fei, said she had mixed feelings taking on the world number two.
“I was happy and nervous at the same time! But I believe I learned a thing or two from playing against her… she was cool and calm. In the earlier stages of the game, she wasn’t so familiar with my style of play but as the tie wore on, she could read my game.
“She is really good and very fast. When I return her shot, she is so quick to react,” she said, adding that she was ready to do her best if fielded against Canada.
Meanwhile, national women’s team singles head coach Indra Wijaya feels that his charges have performed commendably and shown great fighting spirit, so far, although they still lack the experience and exposure to take on world-class opponents at the highest level.
“We came with a young side. This is the first high-level tournament for some of them after they were promoted from the junior squad.
“When taking on teams like China and Denmark, we must be realistic as to how much better our opponents are and, although we are still lagging far behind, our players performed quite well. This is a good experience for them.
“Players like Qi Xuan, Letshanaa and Siti performed admirably and our efforts (in exposing them) will bear fruit later on,” he said.