Just when you think you're tough enough


Round 1 – MD – Koo K.K. /Tan B.H. (MAS) vs B.Ponsana /S.Anugritayawon (THA) – Axiata Cup 2013

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SURABAYA: Malaysia’s weakness in mixed team events was painfully exposed as they could only draw 2-2 with Thailand in the US$1mil Axiata Cup here yesterday.

And it was the singles – both the men’s and women’s – that let Malaysia down.

World No. 51 Tee Jing Yi was handed a tough task in the first match, taking on All England runner-up Ratchanok Inthanon.

To her credit though, Jing Yi gave it a good fight before going down 17-21, 20-22 to the Thai teenager.

Liew Daren, however, was a big disappointment in the men’s singles as he had trouble finding his feet against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.

The KL shuttler never looked comfortable against the lanky Thai and committed far too many errors in a meek 15-21, 17-21 defeat.

That put mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying under intense pressure to deliver against world No. 6 Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam.

The Malaysians had lost to the Thai pair in their last three meetings.

But this time Peng Soon-Liu Ying delivered an excellent performance to win 20-22, 21-14, 21-14 before men’s pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong rescued the tie by beating Boonsak Ponsana-Songphonm Anugritayawon 21-13, 21-14.

National singles head coach Rashid Sidek prefers to look at the draw as a positive result.

“We knew Thailand were strong, and without (Lee) Chong Wei, a draw is quite a good result,” said Rashid.

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