C'wealth Games: Winning start for shuttlers

C'wealth Games: Winning start for shuttlers
COMFORTABLE WIN: Derek Wong (above) won his singles match against Jamaica’s Gareth Henry 21-11, 21-11 in 26 minutes.

It was a match-up where nothing short of a clean sweep was expected, and the Singapore shuttlers duly delivered.

Team Singapore's badminton squad got off to a comfortable start in their pursuit of a Commonwealth Games gold medal last night when they beat Jamaica 5-0 in Group E of the mixed team event at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

Derek Wong and Liang Xiaoyu won their men and women's singles matches, respectively, in straight sets.

The women's doubles pair of Vanessa Neo and Fu Mingtian and the mixed doubles duo of Chayut Triyachart and Yao Lei also won their matches without dropping a set.

The men's doubles pair of Danny Christanta and Terry Hee needed a third set to see off Jamaica's Gareth Henry and Garron Palmer 2-1 (21-14, 14-21, 21-14).

Despite the big win, there is still room for improvement, said Wong, who beat Henry 21-11, 21-11 in 26 minutes.

In fact, the team of 10 shuttlers took to the training arena less than an hour after their matches.

"From the games today, we could see for ourselves what we need to work on," 25-year-old Wong said.

"We played well today, but Jamaica gave us a good fight. The crowd were actually cheering for them once they saw our opponents running us close.

"We have to play better in our next match (against South Africa, today)."

Norfolk Islands, who lost 5-0 to South Africa, are the other team in the group.

Against Jamaica, national coach Liu Qingdong experimented with his pairings, leaving out doubles stars Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei, who are seeded second in the women's bracket.

"For the group stage, we intend to use as many of our players as possible," said Liu.

"Yes, there is still progress to be made, but we played well today and we look in good shape to reach our targets."


Wong, the leading male shuttler, had a glimpse of the England team in action yesterday, and considers them to be the powerhouses of the tournament.

"England are very close by, so their team had a lot of support in the stands today," he said.

"We have to deal with that if we play them in the later rounds, but, of course, we are used to that sort of thing.

"We can't say how confident we are right now. There are still two more group matches to win to top the group. "After that, we don't know who we are playing in the quarter-finals.

"Everyone's in good spirits right now; eating and resting well. It's important we keep improving as the tournament progresses."

This article was first published on July 25, 2014.
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