It’s all over for hosts Malaysia in the Sudirman Cup after they were beaten 3-2 in their Group C tie at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.
It was Malaysia’s first-ever loss to Germany in a team event. And the Germans achieved it without their two key players – Marc Zwiebler and Juliane Schenk.
Germany join Taiwan in the quarter-finals from Group C tomorrow.
Malaysia and Germany were tied at 2-2 after Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Tee Jing Yi lost their matches while Lee Chong Wei and Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem won theirs.
The responsibility of clinching the winning point then fell on the shoulders of 2011 Indonesian Open champions Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei. Instead, the girls went down fighting 16-21, 21-16, 18-21 in a 63 minute battle to Birgit Michels-Johanna Golsizewski.
Earlier, Peng Soon-Liu Ying were given a rude shock by a pumped-up Michael Fuchs-Michels, who showed great control at mid-court to beat the Malaysians 21-17, 18-21, 21-17 in a one-hour-and-eight-minute match.
“We knew we had to give our team a flying start but we blew it,” he said.
It was not one of the best performances by Chong Wei but he still managed to nick a 21-18, 21-18 win over the towering Domke Dieter to level the tie at 1-1.
Chong Wei said that he did underestimated Dieter after taking an 11-3 lead in the opening game.
“I became too relaxed and allowed him to put unneccessary pressure on me. Anyway, it was good to win to level the tie,” said Chong Wei.
Malaysia’s only consolation yesterday was the success story of Khim Wah-V Shem.
Malaysia’s gamble in fielding the youngsters paid off big time when they defeated Ingo Kindervater-Schoettler Johannes 21-16, 23-21 in 36 minutes.
Khim Wah-V Shem, who played instead of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, justified the coaches’ faith by putting Malaysia 2-1 up with a spirited display.
Their win also avenged their loss to the same pair at the German Open in March.
“We did not give up even when we were down and we fought our way to seal the match,” said Khim Wah.
“We are growing in confidence. Two weeks ago, we won the Malaysian Open GP Gold and today we delivered a point in the mixed team.”
V Shem said “we were fearless”.
“We did not give up even when we were trailing 13-18. We had to win a point because we felt that our women players could pull it off.”
Two years ago in China, Malaysia made the semi-finals.
REPORTS by RAJES PAUL and ASHREENA PILLAI - THE STAR