Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018: Malaysia beat Hong Kong to book Thomas Cup spot
Lee Chong Wei spearheaded the Malaysian challenge against Hong Kong to take his team into the finals of Thomas Cup.
World No. 2 men's singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei helped Malaysia book their spot at the Thomas Cup Finals after bringing down his Hong Kong rival in the quarter-finals at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018 in Alor Setar, Malaysia on Friday.
Lee, 34, gave his country the lead in the quarter-finals of the continental team competition after effortlessly discarding Angus Ng Ka Long 21-15, 22-20 in 45-minutes in the first men's singles clash.
2016 Olympics men's doubles silver medallists Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong proceeded with Malaysia's triumphant streak with a win over Hong Kong combine of Or Chin Chung and Tang Chun Man 21-11, 21-16.
Requiring three wins out of five to fit the bill for the semi-finals, the Malaysians got help from the young Lee Zii Jia, who booked Malaysia's berth in the last-four with a 21-16, 21-15 win over Vincent Wong Wing Ki.
The semi-finalists get a direct entry at the current year's Thomas Cup, to be held in Thailand's capital, Bangkok in May.
"The critical thing is the triumph," said Lee Chong Wei after the win. "I trust this point will help the group," he added.
Malaysia will confront China in the semi-finals after the nine-time Thomas Cup champions beat India 3-1 in another quarter-final.
Despite the fact that it was India's Srikanth Kidambi who drew first blood with a singles victory upon World No. 7 Shi Yuqi, the Chinese proved to be excessively solid.
Doubles combine of He Jiting and Tan Qiang triumphed 21-17, 21-18 over Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, while Qiao Bin, Korean Open champion in 2016, battled hard to beat Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth. Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong secured China's entry into the elimination rounds with a 14-21, 21-19, 21-14 triumph.
Additionally in the semi-finals, South Korea will play defending champions Indonesia. South Korea beat Thailand 3-1, while Indonesia cleared aside Japan 3-0 in the other quarter-finals.