How will Malaysia’s blossoming women’s team fare at the 2021 Uber Cup?
After a successful Sudirman Cup outing and despite coming unstuck against Japan in the semi-final, Malaysia finished on a high as a semi-finalist. Throughout the proceedings, spectators glimpsed the potential rest within the palm of S Kisona and Pearly Tan-M Thinaah.
Against more celebrated and experienced opponents, they battled valiantly and only just came out short. In the aftermath, Kisona was subject to abhorrent racial abuse, marring an otherwise proud achievement for the country at the Sudirman Cup. The women’s team will now focus on the 2021 Uber Cup, held concurrently with the Thomas Cup – a men’s team championship.
The 28st edition of the Uber Cup will kick off on 9 October and conclude on 17 October 2021 in Denmark, where Japan will defend its crown.
The most successful nation in the tournament is China, a 14-time winner, while Japan has stood atop the podium 6 times. Christened after Betty Uber, the 2021 chapter will comprise 16 teams: Japan, Indonesia, Germany and France in group A; Thailand, India, Spain and Scotland in group B; South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Tahiti and Egypt in group C; and China, Denmark, Malaysia and Canada in group D.
Malaysia has graced the tournament 13 times and is yet to make a significant imprint. Sorted into a challenging group, the team will aim to qualify for quarter-finals.
Malaysia will play Denmark on October 9 at 1.30pm venue local time, China on October 10 at 1.30pm venue local time and Canada on October 11 at 7pm venue local time. Only the top two teams will qualify for quarter-finals.
Malaysia 1 – Denmark 4: Mia Blichfeldt defeated S Kisona 21-11, 21-7; Maiken Fruergaard-Sarah Thygesen defeated Lee Meng Yean-M Thinaah 21-19, 10-21, 21-13; Eoon Qi Xuan defeated Line Christhophersen 18-21, 21-18, 21-15; Amalie Magelund-Freja Ravn defeated Yap Ling-Teoh Mei Xing 21-13, 21-19; Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt defeated K Letshanaa 21-18, 21-14.
Malaysia 0 – China 5: Chen Yu Fei defeated Eoon Qi Xuan 21-13, 21-11; Liu Xuan Xuan-Xia Yu Ting defeated Lee Meng Yean-M Thinaah 21-12, 21-17; He Bing Jiao defeated Siti Nurshuhaini 21-8, 21-3; Huang Dong Ping-Jia Yi Fan defeated Go Pei Kee- Teoh Mei Xing 21-9, 21-12; Wang Zhi Yi defeated K Letshanaa 21-15, 21-11.
Malaysia 1 – Canada 4: Talia Ng defeated S Kisona 21-9, 21-14; Rachel Honderich-Kristen Tsai defeated Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling 13-21, 21-10, 21-14; Rachel Chan defeated Eoon Qi Xuan 21-12, 21-13; M Thinaah-Go Pei Kee defeated Catherine Choi-Crystal Lai 21-12, 21-13; Wen Yu Zhang defeated K Letshanaa 17-21, 21-16, 21-12.
Hero and feature images by AFP PHOTO / BADMINTON ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND