RIO DE JANEIRO - Many may have written the contest off even before it began, but Singapore's top badminton player Derek Wong did not go down without a fight in his match against the world No. 1 on Sunday morning (Brazil time).
The 27-year-old was beaten 21-18, 21-8 by Malaysian veteran Lee Chong Wei. It means that he will not top his group and ends his second Olympic campaign before the knock-out rounds.
Similarly, Singapore's top woman shuttler Liang Xiaoyu put up a decent show against South Korea's seventh seed Sung Ji Hyung in the first game before losing 17-21. But she went down easily 11-21 in the second game to also fail to make the round of 16.
Despite the defeat, the first game was a creditable effort from Wong, who has never gotten the better of the 33-year-old in their four meetings so far. Their encounter in January had ended 10-21, 10-21.
The world No. 55 surprised Lee with a close first game, gaining momentum to string four points together twice in the game.
But the second game was a much tougher fight for Wong, who as the player expected, was pushed around the court by Lee's speed and precision.
The Singaporean said: "Chong Wei played a perfect game in the second game. I tried to move him around like I did in the first game but he picked up his speed and was getting to the shots much faster, leaving me out of position."
Mariya Ulitina of Ukraine caused the first major upset of the tournament, knocking out women's singles fifth seed Saina Nehwal of India 21-18, 21-19 to win her group.