SUDIRMAN CUP: Germany send Malaysia packing
MALAYSIA'S humiliation in the Sudirman Cup was complete when they were bundled out 3-2 in the group stage by Germany at Putra Stadium yesterday.
Malaysia rested the bungling Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and were aptly rewarded when Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah defeated Ingo Kidervater-Johannes Schoettler 21-18, 21-18 but it was not enough to stop the rot.
The signs of misery were evident in the first match when under-firing mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were shocked 21-17, 18-21, 21-17 by Micheal Fuchs-Birgit Michels in 68 minutes.
The ever reliable Lee Chong Wei helped Malaysia draw level by beating Dieter Domke 21-12, 21-14 in 34 minutes while V Shem-Khim Wah's efforts helped Malaysia take a 2-1 lead.
But it was downhill all the way then as Malaysia's weaknesses in the women's singles and doubles were painfully exposed by Germany after that.
National singles chief coach Rashid Sidek's gamble turned out to be a flop as Tee Jing Yi was toothless against German's third ranked player Olga Konon and suffered a 21-12, 21-14 loss.
Women's doubles Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, ranked World No 15, caved in under pressure and suffered a 21-16, 16-21, 21-18 loss to Birgit and Johanna Goliszewski in 64 minutes to end Malaysia's hopes in the Sudirman Cup.
Chong Wei said that he was used to such situations after having played for Malaysia in numerous team events and stated there is plenty to ponder on the future after this setback.
"I have seen enough of such situations. Peng Soon didn't play well but V Shem-Khim Wah did their job after Koo-Tan was rested today.
"We have a lot to learn from this defeat and the coaches will need to discuss more on what to do after this."
The Malaysian team certainly flopped as the BA of Malaysia had set a semi-final target.
Rashid is disappointed with the failure and stated Malaysia's strength only remained on paper as the hosts could not assemble a balanced team for the Sudirman Cup.
"Is is very disappointing. We can't do anything about.. it has happened. We can only take our failure as a lesson. We need to use this experience to improve," said Rashid.
"We could only depend on the men's singles and doubles and mixed doubles for points in this tournament. We thought we could do it but some of them did not perform.
"Our women players have stagnated. Whenever we try to push them, they get injured. They are physically and mentally not tough. It is very tough for us to line-up a quality team for mixed team competitions."
And Malaysia were lucky that the relegation and promotion playoffs have been scratched by Badminton World Federation (BWF). If not, Malaysia would suffer a further setback by being demoted to Division Two for the first time in almost a decade.
RESULTS: Division One -- Group A: China 5 Indonesia 0; Group B: South Korea 5 Thailand 0, Group C: Malaysia 2 Germany 3, Group D: Japan 3 Denmark 2.
Division Two -- Group A: Russia 3 Sweden 2, Scotland 4 USA 1.
Division Three -- Group A: Ukraine 4 Sri Lanka 1, New Zealand 3 Turkey 2.
Group B: Switzerland 5 Lithuania 0, Vietnam 4 Australia 1.
FIXTURES: Tomorrow -- Q-finals: China v Indonesia, Taiwan v Denmark, Japan v Thailand, South Korea v Germany.