BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW

It was a bad day on the court for Malaysia as they lost both the women singles and mixed doubles matches in the opening day of the Olympic badminton event at the Wembley Arena in London.

Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying went down 11-21,21-5,15-21 to Taiwan’s Chen Hing Lin/Cheng Wen Hsing in a match that was littered by mistakes by the Malaysian pair.
And the draft also affected their play to a certain extent but the defeat was largely due to their overcautious approach.
“We were too cautious and did not play our game at all. This makes things more difficult as we need to win both our next matches to make the last eight,” said Peng Soon.
“We need to be more aggresive on court as that is what we normally are. It was a poor performance and we just have to do better to survive. No excuses as we played poorly and deserved to lose.”

They will take on second seeds Xu Chen/Jin Ma of China tomorrow (Sunday). They have beaten the Chinese in their only previous meeting at the China Open.

The Malaysian pair won the first point and that was the only time they held the lead in the first set as the Taiwanese player sent them scurrying all over the court to retrieve the shuttle.
While Goh was hasty at the front, Chan was making uncharacteristic mistakes as he allowed Chen to dictate play from the baseline with a variety of strokes.
Racing to a 11-6 lead at interval, the Taiwanese pair hit a purple patch as they raced to a10-10 lead on just one serve. And they wrapped up the first set 21-11.
The break did wonders to the Malaysians who despite trailing 1-2 went on to race to a 11-3 lead at the break, this time getting their act right by holding their ground in defence and turning half chances into points.
And once they led 17-5, it was a case of a formality as they wrapped up the second 21- 6 to force a rubber.
The third started off like the first as the Malaysian pair had problem coping with the flight of the shuttle, allowing the Taiwanese to take race to a 11-5 lead although in the initial stage they trailed 3-4.
Suddenly the Malauysians started making mistakes, especially Goh at the front as they wilted under pressure to trail 8-16, and the match was slipping away.
Although the Malaysians picked up a couple of points to reduce the deficit to 14-19, it was a lead that they could not catch up as they succumbed 21-15 and will now find it difficult to make the last eight.

“It was not a good performance by our standards and we were too cautious in the match. We need to take risks in matches and that is what we failed to do,” said Goh.

Earlier in the morning Tee Jing Yi put up a gallant fight but it was still not good enough to defeat South Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju.
The Malaysian youngster took the first set 21-16 in 20 minutes but could not maintain her momentum and went down 15-21 in the second. But Tee was a spent force in the third as she lost 12-21 in 18 minutes.
However she ought to be commended as she displayed character although up against the 11th seeded.