Badminton: Singapore hopes rest on mixed doubles pair after losses in other events

Singapore's Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han in action against Indonesia's mixed double pair at the Opening day of the OUE Singapore Open on April 11, 2017.
Singapore's Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han in action against Indonesia's mixed double pair at the Opening day of the OUE Singapore Open on April 11, 2017. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Team Singapore hopes will rest on the shoulders of mixed doubles pair Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han, after national shuttlers suffered losses on Wednesday at the OUE Singapore Open.

Troubled by the draught at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, national women's singles player Yeo Jia Min was bundled out of the first round by South Korean Kim Hyo Min 21-15, 21-17.

Yeo had earned a place in the main draw after getting through the qualifiers on Tuesday.

Said the 18-year-old, playing in the main draw of the Singapore Open for the first time: "I took a bit too long to get used to the side draught, and I just couldn't control (my shots) on the crucial points.

"I played too defensively. I should've been more daring to attack. But there are things to take away, like learning how to control different opponents and be consistent in every match."

Her team-mates in action on Wednesday were also unsuccessful in their matches.

In the women's doubles first round, Citra Putri Sari Dewi and Jin Yujia were beaten by Chinese Taipei's Lin Xiao-min and Wu Fang-chien 21-9, 21-12.

Men's doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Hendra Wijaya were also unable to get past Bodin Isara and Nipitphon Phuangphuapet of Thailand, losing 14-21, 18-21.

Terry Hee and Loh Kean Hean stretched Indonesia's Lukhi Apri Nugroho and Tedi Supriadi to the rubber, but lost out in a closely fought 23-21, 13-21, 19-21 contest.

Loh took responsibility of the loss, saying: "It's my focus. I lost my focus in the last few points and I threw away the crucial points."

With the national squad mostly made up of young and inexperienced paddlers, the Singapore Open was intended to be a litmus test for the shuttlers ahead of Aug 19-30's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

There were some bright sparks, including a tight match between Crystal Wong and Ong Ren-Ne, and China's Bao Yixin and Yu Xiaohan.

Said Singapore Badminton Association chief coach Chua Yong Joo: "The younger players showed that they are fearless when up against higher-ranked opponents. They played to their standard but were inexperienced when it came to handling crucial points."

Hee and Tan will play reigning All England champions Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong of China in the mixed doubles second round on Thursday.