Malaysia was crowned the men’s champions of the Badminton Asia Team Championships for the first time when they exacted sweet revenge over arch-rivals Indonesia in the final.
Malaysia were beaten 1-3 in the previous edition in Manila two years ago, but there was to be no repeat as Malaysia came out tops with a dominant 3-0 victory in front of more than 200 home fans at the Setia City Convention Centre on Sunday (Feb 20).
Ng Tze Yong (pic) turned hero after beating Ikhsan Leonardo Rumbay 21-14, 21-15 to seal the winning point as the Malaysia camp erupted into sheer joy.
Tze Yong’s mission was made easier after key members Lee Zii Jia and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik secured the home side a flying start by staving off strong resistance from respective opponents to race 2-0 ahead.
All-England champion Zii Jia had to come from behind to beat Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo 14-21, 21-12, 21-10 in 50 minutes.
Malaysia then marched further with Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists Aaron-Wooi Yik survived yet another nail-biting thriller to win 17-21, 21-13, 21-18.
For Indonesia, the defeat ended their domination of the men’s team event since the biennial tournament’s inception in 2016.
They pipped Japan and China to the 2016 and 2018 titles respectively.
But there’s still cause for celebration for the Indonesia camp after their women’s team emerged winners for the first time with a 3-1 win over South Korea.