Badminton: Yeo Jia Min's fairy tale World Championships run stopped by Thai

Despite Friday's loss, Yeo Jia Min's result still ranks as Singapore's best in the women's singles at the world championships.
Despite Friday's loss, Yeo Jia Min's result still ranks as Singapore's best in the women's singles at the world championships.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore shuttler Yeo Jia Min's outing at the BWF World Championships ended in the quarter-finals with a 21-17, 21-11 loss to 2013 world champion Ratchanok Intanon on Friday (Aug 23).

At St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, the first game started with both players neck and neck before world No. 6 Ratchanok put up an aggressive display at 9-9, ratcheting up the pressure to take the game in 21 minutes.

The 24-year-old Thai was a step ahead throughout the second game as she continued to attack, and wrapped up the match in 41 minutes.

This is Yeo's second loss to the Thai. Their only previous meeting ended in the former world No. 1's favour as well with Ratchanok beating the Singaporean 21-7, 21-12 in the quarter-finals of the German Open in March.

Said Yeo: "My movement today was slower than Ratchanok's and my shot quality was not high enough to pressure her... I tried to push myself but (was) still slower than Ratchanok.

"It's my first time playing in the quarter-final of a big competition, it's a good experience for me but I have many things to improve on now after this competition."

She added: "Thank you so much for supporting me, and other Singapore players, I hope now you will continue to support (us).”

Despite Friday's loss, Yeo's result still ranks as Singapore's best in the women's singles at the world championships.

She had stunned world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the second round on Tuesday and beat 74th-ranked Vu Thi Trang on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals.

Yeo added: "I think people will expect me to play better after this but I just try to focus on what I can do and try not to put pressure on myself. I really enjoy (fighting) on court and I treasure every chance I get to play."

Yeo, the former junior world No. 1, recently won the Hyderabad Open and the Vietnam Open last year. She was born in Singapore to Malaysian parents who are Singapore permanent residents.

National singles head coach Mulyo Handoyo noted that Yeo's game has seen an overall improvement. Referring to her and teammate Loh Kean Yew, who reached the last 16, he said: "They should continue to train and build a strong foundation for them to compete in the (Olympic) qualification period, and to have consistent performances."

Ronald Susilo was the only other Singaporean singles player to reach the world tournament's quarter-finals in 2007.