XX COMMONWEALTH GAMES
July 23-Aug 3
SINGAPORE'S shuttlers needed less than two hours over five matches to get their Commonwealth Games off to a smashing start.
A convincing 5-0 win over Jamaica in the mixed team Group E opener bodes well for confidence as stiffer opposition awaits further down the road.
Yao Lei and Chayut Triyachart kick-started the whitewash with a 21-8, 21-11 win over Geordine Henry and Garrod Palmer.
Chayut said of the match, which averaged five-stroke rallies: "Frankly speaking, the group games are easier so it's about getting the job done quickly and keeping momentum going."
Defending champions Malaysia - without injured world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei - also breezed past Barbados 5-0, while joint favourites England and India beat Northern Ireland and Ghana respectively by a similar margin.
Like the big guns, Singapore have a relatively clear path into the quarter-finals as minnows Norfolk Islands and South Africa are unlikely to offer much resistance in the remaining round-robin fixtures.
Nonetheless, the Republic's top men's player Derek Wong was on the training court just hours after his match yesterday, fine-tuning his drop shots and net-play.
"If you take it easy and go through the motions, before you know it, you're out of the tournament," said the world No. 39, who dispatched Gareth Henry 21-11, 21-16.
Commonwealth Games debutant Liang Xiaoyu, 18, showed no nerves, thumping Ruth Williams 21-7, 21-5.
To complete the rout, Terry Hee and Danny Chrisnanta beat Palmer and Gareth 21-14, 14-21, 21-14, while Vanessa Neo and Fu Mingtian overcame Williams and Geordine 21-4, 21-8.
This article was first published on July 25, 2014.
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