Badminton: Olympic champs Tontowi Ahmad, Liliyana Natsir crash out of S'pore Open

SINGAPORE - Olympic mixed doubles champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia were uncharacteristically booted out early at the OUE Singapore Open, suffering a loss in their opener at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Tuesday evening.

They were swept past 21-14, 21-16 by Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the first round of the Superseries event.

The Indonesian duo, who took gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last year, are three-time champions here, having won in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

But with Liliyana struggling with a knee injury that has hampered her movement since the China Open last November, the pair struggled to keep up with their Thai opponents.

Tontowi also admitted that he could not get into the rhythm of the match. He said: "We didn't play well today and our communication wasn't great. By the time I got my momentum, it was already too late to catch up."

Added Liliyana: "I haven't been able to recover and I was reluctant to take certain shots today."

Team Singapore's Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han earned a place in the second round of the mixed doubles after they beat Indonesians Ronald Ronald and Melati Daeva Oktavianti 21-19, 22-20.

The world No.1 5s get a day of rest and will meet All England Open champions Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong of China on Thursday.

In the women's singles, Yeo Jia Min will also get to play in the main draw after she got through the qualifiers. The world No. 2 junior beat Indonesia's Lyanna Alessandra Mainaky 21-19, 21-18, having also taken out Jesica Muljati of Indonesia 21-12, 21-18 earlier in the day.

Singapore's other shuttlers lost their matches on qualifying day.

Mixed doubles pair Bimo Adi Prakoso and Jin Yujia beat Trikusuma Wardhana and Dian Fitriani 21-15, 21-18 in their first match, but lost to Japan's Yugo Kobayashi and Misaki Matsutomo 21-17, 21-15.

Mixed doubles pair Citra Putri Sari Dewi and Jason Wong lost to Indonesia's Lukhi Apri Mugroho and Ririn Amelia 21-18, 14-21, 10-21.

Ong Re-Ne and Crystal Wong were handed a walkover during their match against Aghisna Fathkul Laili and Athiatun Rahimah of Indonesia, and came close later to beating Bao Yixin and Yu Xiaohan of China before eventually losing 21-19, 10-21, 19-21.

In the men's singles qualifiers, Ryan Ng was beaten by Pannawit Thongnuam 21-18, 11-21, 21-13. Grace Chua was also beaten by Yulia Yosephin Susanto 21-10, 21-14 in her match.