GOLD COAST (Australia) - Singapore lost 1-3 to India in the Commonwealth Games badminton mixed team semi-finals on Sunday (April 8) at the Carrara Sports Arena.
But the score belied the gutsy performance by the team, which have an average age of 22.1 years.
An untested Singapore mixed doubles pair of Terry Hee and Crystal Wong were initially "surprised" by the smashes of opponents Satwik Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, ranked 57th in the world, in the first match, but gave them a run for their money before going down 20-22, 18-21.
Wong, 18, told The Straits Times: "I think it was a great opportunity for me to learn a lot in this match, especially they are much more experienced and have played in higher-level competitions, they are more used to this kind of atmosphere, but I think I played quite well against them although I could be more steady and make fewer mistakes."
World No. 225 men's singles player Loh Kean Yew gave a good account of himself in the second match against India's world No. 2 Kidambi Srikanth, but lost 17-21, 14-21.
He said: "I told myself to increase my speed, because I was up against a top player and I couldn't play with my usual speed."
The Republic pulled a point back in the men's doubles when Hee and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta beat Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 17-21, 21-19, 21-12.
Chrisnanta, 29, said: "In the first game, we were still finding our way, looking for a better strategy against them. We slowly got used to the timing and speed of our opponents, and got more confident."
But India clinched the winning point in the fourth match, when world No. 12 Saina Nehwal beat Yeo Jia Min 21-8, 21-15.
Singapore will play in the bronze-medal tie at the same venue on Monday. They will face either England or Malaysia.
Hee, 22, said: "We are the underdogs among the four teams, there is no pressure on us, we have nothing to lose and will give our best."