S'pore shuttlers in grand fightback

S'pore shuttlers in grand fightback
Singapore’s shuttlers Hendra Wijaya and Terry Hee (left), who are part of Singapore SEA Games Badminton team at Sports Hub OCBC Arena on 7 May 2015.

Singapore's shuttlers received an encouraging boost ahead of next month's SEA Games when they fought back from 0-2 down to beat Spain 3-2 in their opening match at the Sudirman Cup yesterday.

Derek Wong lost 18-21, 11-21 to Spain's Pablo Abian in the men's singles, while Yeo Jia Min lost 9-21, 17-21 to women's world and All England champion Carolina Marin to leave Singapore 0-2 down.

However, the men's doubles pair of Terry Hee and Hendra Wijaya began the fightback by beating Abian and Luis Enrique Penalver 21- 15, 21-11.

The women's doubles pair of Elaine Chua and Tan Wei Han then beat Clara Azurmendi and singles world No. 3 Marin 21-15, 23-21 to level the tie at 2-2.

The mixed doubles pair of Shinta Mulia Sari and Chayut Triyachart then completed the comeback by beating Beatriz Corrales and Ernesto Velazquez 21-12, 21-18.

Singapore Badminton Association director of team administration Chew Keet Hou was happy with the way the team showed mental fortitude to go on and win the match after being 0-2 down.

The result was all the more pleasing as both the men's and women's doubles pairings are relatively new.

Hee and Wijaya have been on-court partners for less than a year, while Chua and Tan combined only at the end of last year.

"It is one of the first few times that they have played together in a competition, so it's good to see them being able to withstand pressure," Chew said.

In other ties, defending champions China thrashed Germany 5-0, while former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia made an imperious return from an eight-month drug ban.

Lee showed no sign of rustiness as he swept aside South Korea's Lee Dong Keun 21-12, 21-10.

The result of the best-of-five tie was not available at press time.

Lee had been banned after testing positive for dexamethasone at last year's World Championships in Copenhagen.

isaacneo@sph.com.sg

Sudirman Cup: Day 2, session 1 (1pm). Session 2 (7pm) - StarHub Ch203


This article was first published on May 11, 2015.
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