Veterans Peng Soon-Liu Ying lead two others into semis

PETALING JAYA: It was a glorious day for Malaysia as our shuttlers checked into three semi-finals in the World Tour Finals with old-timers Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying making the biggest headway.

The mixed doubles independent pair battled for one hour and 24 minutes to subdue a strong assault from Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje before prevailing 21-17 19-21 21-16 in Bali yesterday.

It was also sweet revenge after their shock defeat to the Danes in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Open in March.

It was their second win in Group A thus assuring them the semi-final slot. They will play Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino of Japan to determine group winners.

Only the top-two in each group make it to the last four.

Peng Soon, 33, was happy to make their first semi-finals in eight years in the Finals. They also made it to the last four in the 2013 in Kuala Lumpur.

“It feels great that seniors like us made it this far,” said Peng Soon.

“It was a tough match but Liu Ying and I were able to last the pace until the end. It’s not easy to come this far for players our age, especially this season where we had to play in back-to-back tournaments.

“It’s a bonus and also a confidence booster that we needed,” he added.

Liu Ying, meanwhile, said: “We have played in several Finals but it’s nice to finally clear the group stage since our last semis in KL. The goal is to keep the rhythm going.”

Another independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi also made it to the last four when they dug deep to beat Indonesia’s Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Erich 12-21, 21-11, 21-18 in Group B.

They will take on Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi to determine group winners.

In men’s singles, the path is clear for Lee Zii Jia to reach the final.

Zii Jia notched his second win in Group B by beating France’s Toma Junior Popob 21-13, 21-19 to confirm his ticket.

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen and India’s Laksya Sen also made it to the semis following the premature exits of Japan’s Kento Momota and Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke respectively.

Both retired on Wednesday due to injuries.