It was another day of surprises at the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Invitational Championships as men’s singles top gun Lee Zii Jia suffered his first loss on Thursday, while Liew Daren almost blacked out after his match.
Among all the action, the men’s singles between Lee and Soong Joo Ven stood out as the plum tie.
Both shuttlers were victorious in their last match on Wednesday, and were looking for another win to consolidate their position in Division 1.
The match lived up to expectations, and in the end it was Soong who edged the contest with a 21-19, 11-21, 29-27 victory over the world number 10 that lasted 80 minutes.
Soong, back training with the national team ahead of the Thomas Cup selections, described victory over his best friend as a significant one.
“Firstly, I am just grateful to be back playing after almost half a year. It feels great to be back on court. I take this as matchplay. We are teammates and best friends, and the one who kept his focus the most won.
“I have been doing my best to maintain my fitness during the MCO period. I’m happy I lasted the pace,” said Soong, who was stretched in his encounter against Leong Jun Hao on Wednesday before prevailing 27-25 in the third game.
Lee felt dizzy in the aftermath of the defeat and was seen lying down.
Men's singles coach Hendrawan said this situation is common after not playing competitively for a long time.
Liew meanwhile pulled out of the competition after he suffered blackouts and cramps following his match against Cheam June Wei, where he lost 18-21, 11-21.
His withdrawal meant the men’s singles division was down to seven shuttlers.
On Wednesday, mixed doubles shuttler Goh Soon Huat also pulled out with a back pain.
Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong atoned for their loss on Wednesday with a 21-18, 16-21, 21-17 victory against Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong.
Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik also weren’t troubled in their 21-9, 21-16 success over Ching Kai Feng-Lwi Sheng Hao.
Ng Tze Yong bt Lim Chong King 21-14, 21-17
Leong Jun Hao bt Aidil Soleh 7-21, 21-17, 21-16
Soniia Cheah bt Eoon Qi Xuan 19-21, 21-10, 21-17
Lee Ying Ying bt K. Letshanaa 17-21, 21-16, 21-10
Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin bt Chen Tang Jie-Nurfirdaus Azman 21-14, 21-17
Ooi Jhy Dar-Yap Roy King bt Choong Hon Jian-Loo Bing Kun 15-21, 21-15, 21-10
Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean bt Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah 21-10, 19-21, 21-14
Anna Cheong-Toh Ee Wei bt Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling 17-21, 21-15, 21-15
Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See bt Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei 20-22, 21-18, 21-17