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By Amiril Muttaqien Meketar
BANGKOK, May 8 (Bernama) -- Malaysia are in danger of missing the quarter-finals after faltering yet again to Denmark, this time going down 3-2 to the Valkyries in their opening Group C match at the 2022 Uber Cup Finals here today.
The Valkyries drew the first blood when their top singles shuttler, Mia Blichfeldt took 35 minutes to overcome Malaysian singles ace S. Kisona 21-14, 21-15 at the Impact Arena here.
The first game saw both shuttlers fighting neck-and-neck until Blichfeldt led 11-10. From there on, the Dane took control to seal the first game before going on to power home in the second game and secure the first point for her country.
Malaysia, though, were not perturbed as national number one doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah secured a slim victory over Maiken Fruergaard-Sara Thygesen to level the tie at 1-1.
After trailing 8-12 in the first game, the world number 11 Malaysians kept their composure to chase down the Danish duo for a 21-19 win before clinching the second game with a similar 21-19 scoreline.
Pearly-Thinaah’s victory lifted the mood in the national camp and inspired second singles shuttler, former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei to help Malaysia go 2-1 up against Denmark in the third match.
Jin Wei started strongly to thump Line Christophersen 21-12 but a series of mistakes proved costly for the Malaysian professional shuttler as she went down 11-21 in the second game.
Thankfully, the 22-year-old Penangite found her groove in the deciding game as she hammered the 2021 European Championships runner-up 21-5.
Knowing that Malaysia need just one more win in the best-of-five format, Denmark’s second doubles pair of Alexandre Boje-Amalie Magelund fought as if their lives depended on it to overcome Anna Ching Yik Cheong-Teoh Mei Xing, 21-14, 21-10. It’s now Malaysia 2, Denmark 2.
It was now up to the inexperienced Myisha Mohd Khairul to get the winning point for Malaysia but the newly-crowned Dutch International Series winner was no match for Line Kjaersfeldt, who won 21-12, 21-9 in just 33 minutes.
Today’s win saw Denmark extend their unbeaten run against Malaysia in the world’s most prestigious women’s badminton team tournament to six matches since both teams first crossed swords in the 2000 edition in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia will need a miracle to beat red-hot favourites Thailand in their second group match tomorrow in a bid to advance into the last eight after the hosts thumped Egypt 5-0 today.
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