V Shem-Wee Kiong was almost beaten by the umpire before the start of the match because their attire was too similar to the Japanese pair and was asked to change their attire.
After a long delay, the Malaysians were allowed to play after changing their shorts to black with white stripes.
Under badminton rules, a higher-ranked pair gets the preference over the colour choice of their shirts and shorts.
“We had to borrow shorts from two of our women team-mates as the umpire refused to allow us to play if we didn’t change it.
“I had sent my yellow shirt for laundry yesterday (Wednesday) and I did not bring any different colour shirt.
“I never thought the umpire would be so strict. We reasoned with him and he eventually allowed us to play but we still have to submit a report later,” said a relieved Wee Kiong.
But it will be tough for V Shem and Wee Kiong to emulate Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong’s silver-medal finish in Guangzhou four years ago as they face top seeds Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea in the semi-finals. The homesters defeated Indonesia’s Angga Pratama-Rian Agung Saputro 21-16, 21-11.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong won the title in Doha in 2006 and reached the final in Guangzhou but lost to Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
“We achieved our target of getting a medal. We played Yong-dae-Yeon-seong once and lost at the Australian Open quarter-finals in June. It will be tough tomorrow but we will give our best shot,” said Wee Kiong.
A bronze medal is the best women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei can bring home after they lost 16-21, 17-21 to top seeds Ayaka Takahashi-Misaki Matsutomo of Japan in the semi-finals. The bronze is still the first for Malaysia in women’s doubles at the Asiad in 44 years.
In men’s singles, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei checked into the quarter-finals after dispatching India’s Commonwealth Games champion P. Kashyap 21-12, 21-11. He will play Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam on Saturday for a place in the last four.
Chong Wei was all smiles after the win.
“My movements and control of the game are getting better.
“I was using the first game to gauge the direction of the wind. It is different on every court. I played better in the second and was more focused,” said the 31-year-old Chong Wei, a bronze medallist here in the men’s team event.