The Malaysian men’s team checked into the semi-finals of the 2021 SEA Games after overcoming host Vietnam 3-1 in the last eight on Monday, saving the blushes of their female counterparts who lost to the same team.
The Malaysian men's team go on to face Singapore in the semis on Tuesday, while top seeds Indonesia take on Thailand.
Jacky Kok was first up against Nguyen Tien Minh, one of the oldest shuttlers on the circuit at 39, and battled against the wily veteran for close to an hour before he lost 14-21, 26-24, 7-21.
Men's doubles pair Man Wei Chong-Kai Wun Tee managed to draw Malaysia level after slogging hard against Tuan Duc Do-Hong Nam Pham to prevail 21-8, 20-22, 21-18.
Lee Shun Yang then contributed a crucial point for the contingent with a 21-19, 27-25 triumph over Le Duc Phat in the second men’s singles.
Junaidi Arif-Muhammad Haikal secured the winning point for Malaysia with another hard fought 15-21, 21-12, 22-20 victory over Nguyen Dinh Hoang-Tran Dinh Manh to secure the last four spot against Singapore.
The women’s team, meanwhile, suffered a 3-1 loss to Vietnam in an earlier match on Monday.
Siti Nurshuhaini was fielded as the first singles, but the youngster shockingly fell to a limp 9-21, 8-21 loss against Nguyen Thuy Linh.
Thi Trang then added to Vietnam’s tally with a 21-9, 21-7 success over Siti Zulaikha, before women’s doubles Go Pei Kee-Yap Ling salvaged a point with a 12-21, 21-15, 21-16 win over Dinh Thi Phuong-Do Thi Hoai.
Malaysia’s hopes of a revival were dashed when Vietnam secured their third point from Vu Thi Anh, who beat Ong Xin Yee 21-13, 21-15.
The women’s team had reached the semis at the 2019 edition to claim a bronze medal.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) had opted to field a young team for this edition as the more senior shuttlers were in action at the Thomas and Uber Cup in Thailand.