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From Elmi Rizal Elias
BIRMINGHAM, Aug 6 (Bernama) -- National mixed doubles paddlers Javen Choong-Karen Lyne turned the formbook upside down when they produced a stunning 3-1 win over third seeds Clarence Chew Zhe Yu-Zeng Jian of Singapore to storm into the final of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games here today.
The unseeded Malaysians were clearly in their element as they carved out an 11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7 win over the fancied Singaporeans at the National Exhibition Centre here.
It was sweet revenge indeed for the Malaysians as they had lost to the same pair in the quarter-finals of the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May.
Their reward for the stunning performance is a gold-medal showdown with India's Sharath Kamal Achanta-Sreeja Akula, who overcame Australians Nicholas Lum-Jee Minhyung 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 12-14, 11-7 in the other semi-final.
National team manager Ting Hie Phin said she was pleased with their performance in only their second international outing since being paired up at the beginning of this year.
"We did not expect them to advance to the final because our target (for them) was only to reach the last eight. But they have shown remarkable performance and we hope they can bring home the gold medal,” she said.
She added that her confidence is based on their quarter-final win over India's Sathiyan Gnanasekaran-Manika Batra, who are the top seeds and ranked among the world's top 10 in mixed doubles.
For the record, Malaysia have never won a mixed doubles medal at the Commonwealth Games.
In the 2018 edition in Gold Coast, Australia, the national paddlers won only one bronze medal in women's doubles.
At Birmingham 2022, Malaysia have already won a silver in the women's team event.
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