SEA Games: Singapore retain badminton men's and women's team bronzes after semi-final losses

Yeo Jia Min (pictured) lost 2-0 (21-15, 23-21) to Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, who is one rung higher in the world rankings.
Yeo Jia Min (pictured) lost 2-0 (21-15, 23-21) to Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, who is one rung higher in the world rankings.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Republic's shuttlers fell in the SEA Games badminton men's and women's team semi-finals at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Manila on Monday (Dec 2). But in the absence of third-place play-offs, Singapore have retained the two joint-bronze medals they claimed at the last SEA Games.

In the morning, the women's team lost 3-1 to Indonesia. In the first singles, world No. 25 Yeo Jia Min lost 2-0 (21-15, 23-21) to Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, who is one rung higher in the world rankings.

Jin Yujia and Nur Insyirah Khan also lost 2-0 (21-8, 21-8) to Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani and Apriyani Rahayu in the women's doubles.

World No. 99 Jaslyn Hooi then managed to spring an upset when she bounced back to beat Indonesia's world No. 27 Fitriani 2-1 (13-21, 21-16, 21-16) in the second singles match.

But Singapore's resistance ended when Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti and Ribka Sugiarto beat Shinta Mulia Sari and Crystal Wong 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) in the second doubles.

In Tuesday's final, Indonesia will meet defending champions Thailand, who beat Malaysia 3-0 in the other semi-final.

In the afternoon men's semi-final, Singapore were beaten 3-0 by Malaysia. World No. 29 Loh Kean Yew lost 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) to 14th-ranked Lee Zii Jia in the first singles.

They threatened a fight back in the men's doubles when Terry Hee and Loh Kean Hean won the first game, only to succumb 2-1 (20-22, 21-13, 21-16) to Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik. Similarly in the second singles, world No. 211 Joel Koh took the opening game against world No. 62 Soong Joo Ven, but ended up losing 2-1 (14-21, 21-8, 21-16).

In a repeat of the 2017 final, Malaysia will try to pry the gold medal from defending champions Indonesia on Tuesday.