Inexperienced shuttlers fail to clinch bronze

GOLD COAST • The score read 3-0 in favour of England, but it hardly told the story of the Commonwealth Games badminton mixed team bronze-medal tie yesterday at the Carrara Sports Arena. The Singapore side, with an average age of 22.1 years, were outranked in every match but fought for every point.

The unranked mixed doubles pair of Terry Hee and Crystal Wong set the tone, battling to a 21-16, 19-21, 18-21 loss to world No. 21 Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith. England then doubled their lead when their world No. 22 men's singles shuttler Rajiv Ouseph beat No. 225 Loh Kean Yew 20-22, 21-15, 25-23. The No. 24 men's doubles pair of Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis sealed it with a 21-9, 19-21, 21-13 defeat of 133rd-ranked Hee and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta.

The Singaporeans said that they lost on inexperience and not because of a lack of talent, and are confident of plugging that gap.

Chrisnanta, 29, said: "The young players just need more experience. They need to go for more competitions so they can grow up, be more mature and know what to do during the crucial points in the match. This is what makes the difference in matches."

For instance, Loh had match point at 20-19 against Ouseph, but failed to finish the job. Said the 20-year-old: "He was able to handle the pressure better while I seemed to be rushing to win the point."

Singapore were bronze medallists at the 2014 Glasgow Games when they edged out India 3-2. In the final yesterday, India beat defending champions Malaysia 3-1 to win their first mixed team gold.

Lim Say Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2018, with the headline 'Inexperienced shuttlers fail to clinch bronze'. Print Edition | Subscribe