Malaysian shuttlers endured mixed fortunes in the evening session of their Tokyo Olympics opening matches as Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik got off to a winning start while Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying faltered.
Badminton’s evening session was started by Chia-Soh’s encounter against South Korean pair Choi Sol-gyu-Seo Seung-jae.
While their team-mates Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean caved in to lose in the day’s first encounter, Chia-Soh dominated in the evening session’s opening match with a powerful performance to win 24-22, 21-15.
They kept their composure in the first game after the South Korean’s forced deuce, twice holding match points before finally converting with aplomb for a 24-22 win.
The Malaysians were the far superior pair in the second game, injecting plenty of aggression in the rallies exchanges to win 21-15.
Victory puts them in the driving seat to qualify to the quarter-finals, and perhaps even as group champions should they defeat Indonesian pair Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan.
Chan-Goh couldn’t emulate their feat and suffered a 18-21, 21-10, 16-21 loss to Hong Kong pair Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet in their Group D mixed doubles.
The Malaysians have now lost on five occasions to Tang-Tse.
Chan-Goh were a bundle of nerves in the deciding match when they should have used all their experience against their opponents who were playing together for the first time at the Olympics.
But the 2016 silver medalists cannot dwell on this defeat for long, as they are up against Germans Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich on Sunday morning.
Victory is a must for Chan-Goh to stand any chance of making the quarterfinal when they face Chinese pair Wang Yi Lyu-Huang Dong Ping in the group’s final match.