Mixed doubles pair Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See, who delivered Malaysia’s winning point against Indonesia in the Sudirman Cup quarter-finals, said the roar of their team-mates inspired them to victory over Praveen Jordan-Melati Oktavianti.
With the scores level at 2-2 after close to five hours of pulsating action, Hoo-Cheah entered the fray as underdogs against the world number four pair in the final match.
The world number 27 pair played their hearts out to seal a semi-finals passage against Japan, courtesy of a 21-19, 9-21, 21-16 victory in 61 minutes.
“We knew we were the underdogs coming into this match, and that we were up against a stronger pair. We fought all the way, and hearing our team-mates cheer us inspired us to give it everything to make Malaysia proud,” Hoo said after the victory.
It was an emotional triumph as Cheah, who was impeccable at the front court, broke down in tears after the match as they were mobbed by their team-mates in pure euphoria.
Hoo added that Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah’s immense fighting spirit against Olympic champions Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu inspired the pair.
“Pearly-Thinaah inspired us because they were the lower ranked shuttlers and they just went all out and did what they could.”
Before the duo sealed victory, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Lee Zii Jia had delivered the first two points in the men’s doubles and singles, while S.Kisona and Pearly-Thinaah went down fighting in two nail-biting encounters.
This victory will surely galvanise the national contingent against Japan in the semi-finals tonight, with hopes of avenging the 4-1 loss in their group match on Thursday.
In that defeat, the national team only nicked a point through Chia-Soh, but after the Indonesia victory every shuttler who is fielded tonight will view their chances as equal against the 2019 finalist.
Malaysia – Japan probable lineupsMD: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik vs Akira Koga-Taichi Saito
WS: S.Kisona vs Akane Yamaguchi
MS: Lee Zii Jia vs Kento Momota
WD: Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah vs Mayu Matsumoto-Misaki Matsutomo
XD: Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See vs Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino