Fans gather at Sarawak Sports Complex for Thomas Cup semi-finals showdown against China

Fans erupted in cheers with each point won by Lee Zii Jia.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 4: Badminton fans gathered at the Sarawak Youth and Sports Complex today to watch and rally behind the Malaysian team as they faced off against mighty China in the semi-finals of the 2024 Thomas Cup, which was broadcasted on a big screen, commencing at 5pm today (May 4).

Though the turnout was not large, Sarawakians displayed unwavering zeal, braving the scorching weather to support their nation.


The atmosphere surged with excitement as world No. 10 Lee Zii Jia spearheaded Malaysia’s efforts in the men’s singles against China’s Shi Yuqi. Fans erupted in cheers and applause with each point won by Lee.

Unfortunately, Lee succumbed to a 19-21, 5-21 defeat against the world No. 2, marking his fifth loss to the Chinese ace in six encounters.

Badminton fans at the Sarawak Youth and Sports Complex today to watch and rally behind the Malaysian team in the semi-final matches of the 2024 Thomas Cup on May 4, 2024.

Chung Nien, a media professional, revealed his admiration for Malaysian shuttlers Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in men’s doubles.

“While I think Lee is a great shuttler, however, I am optimistic about Justin Hoh, a promising 20-year-old making his Thomas Cup debut in singles.

“Outside Malaysia, men’s singles Olympic champion Viktor Axelson from Denmark is my idol,” he told DayakDaily.

Chung, an avid badminton player, emphasised the importance of Malaysian solidarity in supporting their national team.

Muhammad Naim, an assistant officer with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, underscored the significance of the screening event in uplifting Malaysian spirits and rallying support for the contingent in the game held in Chengdu, China.

“We must support Malaysia. My favourite shuttlers are definitely Lee for singles and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani for doubles.

“Previously, a similar screening was organised for football in Kuching as well. I play both badminton and football, and I hope Malaysian sports flourish and reach greater heights,” he added.

For the record, this semi-final appearance marked Malaysia’s first in eight years since the 2016 Thomas Cup in Kunshan.

The nation’s last final appearance was a decade ago, with their previous championship victory dating back 32 years to 1992. — DayakDaily