KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — Malaysia got their 2021 Sudirman Cup Group D campaign off to a winning start by edging England 3-2 at Vantaa, Finland on Monday.
World number 27 mixed doubles pair Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See gave Malaysia the perfect start when they stunned England’s world number seven duo of Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith 21-19, 21-18 at the Energie Areena.
Inspired, team captain Lee Zii Jia then made it 2-0 for Malaysia when he brushed aside Johniee Torjussen 21-4, 21-15 in just 28 minutes in men’s singles.
Tokyo Olympics men’s doubles bronze medallists Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik then delivered the winning point, but not before being put through the wringer by Ben Lane-Sean Vendy.
The world number eight Malaysians struggled to cope with the fast-paced display of Lane-Vendy but, somehow, managed to find an extra gear to eke out a 22-20, 21-18 win.
However, 2019 SEA Games women’s singles champion S. Kisona, 22, failed to live up to expectations when she went down to a shock 16-21, 20-22 defeat by world number 176 Abigail Holden.
In the last tie, Lauren, who lost to Pang Ron-Yee See in the mixed doubles clash with her partner Marcus earlier, made amends by combining with Chloe Birch to beat Malaysia’s Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah 21-18, 17-21, 21-10 in the women’s double game that lasted 64 minutes.
Meanwhile, 2019 Sudirman Cup runners-up Japan began their Group A campaign in style by trouncing Egypt 5-0.
Tomorrow will see Malaysia taking on Egypt and Japan meeting England. Both matches will be played at 4pm local time (9pm Malaysian time).
The biennial mixed team tournament, which began yesterday, will end on October 3. — Bernama