Badminton: Singapore's Yeo Jia Min creates history by reaching world championships quarters

Singapore's Yeo Jia Min during her third round women's singles match against Vietnam's Thi Trang Vu at the 2019 Badminton World Championships on Aug 22, 2019.
Singapore's Yeo Jia Min during her third round women's singles match against Vietnam's Thi Trang Vu at the 2019 Badminton World Championships on Aug 22, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - National shuttler Yeo Jia Min reached the quarter-finals of the BWF World Championships after beating Vietnam's Vu Thi Trang 21-15, 14-21, 21-16 on Thursday (Aug 22) after a gruelling 72-minute battle.

It is Singapore's best result in the women's singles to date.

At St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, world No. 32 Yeo won the first game in 20 minutes, often getting the better of her 74th-ranked opponent in long rallies.

Vu then raised her tempo in the second game and injected more pace into her shots as Yeo, who felt discomfort in her lower back, fumbled.

The 20-year-old Singaporean regrouped to take the lead in the third game, often putting pressure on Vu's forehand. Yeo sank to her knees in relief after converting her fourth match point.

"I felt relieved because I was determined to win," she said.

Yeo, who defeated world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi in the second round of the tournament on Tuesday, was constantly referred to as a giant-killer by commentators on Thursday.

But she felt no pressure ahead of her match against Vu, saying of the four match points: "I felt collected and focused on the match, and reminded myself of things I could control.

 

"I feel happy and excited to enter the quarter-finals."

The former world junior No. 1 will face 2013 world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, who beat Indonesian Gregoria Mariaka Tunjung 18-21, 23-21, 21-10, in the quarter-finals on Friday.

While Yeo advanced, teammate Loh Kean Yew failed in his bid to reach the last eight. The world No. 34 lost 21-13, 18-21, 21-17 to world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei in the third round.

Ronald Susilo was the last local man to reach the quarter-final stage at the 2007 edition.