The men’s doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong kept the flag flying for Malaysia at the Olympic badminton competition with the only win of the day at the Wembley Arena.
The duo got the start they were looking for when they easily defeated the Japanese pair of Naoki Kawamae and Shoji Sato 21-12, 21-14.
The Malaysians took just 30 minutes to wrap up the game to enhance their chances of a last eight place from Group D.
It was the fourth meeting between the two pairs dating back to 2009. The last was at the All-England earlier this year where Kien Keat and Boon Heong won 21-11, 21-14.
Kien Keat said they were happy to have got past the first hurdle as they could now look forward to the other matches with greater confidence.
“The opening match is always a little tough as it could go awfully wrong. But we stayed with the game plan and went on the attack.
“It’s a matter of gaining confidence and this win will help us to stay calm and focused,” he said.
But Kien Keat and Boon Heong were the only Malaysian shuttlers to prevail on the opening day of the competition.
The mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying found the going tough in Group D, losing 12-21, 21-6, 21-15 to the Taiwan pair of Chen Hung Ling and Cheng Wen Hsing in 39 minutes.
They now have the difficult task of beating top China pair of Xu Chen and Mah Jin in their next match to stay alive.
Peng Soon said they could have won if they had kept the momentum going after winning the first set.
“We made the mistake of being overly cautious and it cost us the game. We also made some unforced errors which the Taiwanese exploited.
“But we still have two more matches. It will be tough, especially against Xu Chen and Mah Jin, but it isn’t over yet,” he said
In the women’s singles, Tee Jing Yi put up a stiff fight before losing in three sets to South Korea’s Bae Yeon-ju.
The Korean won 16-21, 21-15, 21-12 in 62 minutes.
Jing Yi said she was happy with her performance as there was a vast improvement in her game.
“The last time I played here it as over in straight sets. This time, I was able to give her a better fight and I feel quite confident of my game.
“I’m looking forward to my next match (against Agnese Allegrini of Italy) and hope to win it,” she said.