S'pore para-shuttlers 3rd at world championships

Singapore clinched two bronze medals on their first outing at the Para-Badminton World Championships.

Tay Wei Ming, 25, came in third in the men's singles (SU 5 category) event.

He later partnered Kelvin Pung, 34, to the bronze medal in the men's doubles.

Para-badminton players are grouped according to wheelchair, standing and short stature classes. A lower number represents a higher level of disability.

Standing shuttlers with the lowest level of disability are grouped in SU 5, the most competitive category.

Tay, who suffers from Erb's Palsy, a condition that affects his nervous system, emerged from a field of 29 players from almost 20 countries to take the bronze in Dortmund, Germany. The biennial event ended last Sunday.

He upset second seed Ilker Tuzcu of Turkey in straight games in the quarter-finals, before losing to Poland's Bartlomiej Mroz in three games in the semi-finals.

There was no play-off for bronze.

Still, the third-year sports and wellness management student at Nanyang Polytechnic had surpassed his pre-event target of making the last eight.

"My coach (for the past three years) could not travel to Germany with me because he had some family matters to attend to and, initially, that was hard for me," said Tay, a two-time ASEAN Para Games champion, who was competing in the biggest tournament of his career.

"But I told myself that I had put in a lot of effort into this and it's time for me to prove something. I had nothing to lose and I wanted to achieve something for my coach, myself and Singapore."

Tay and Pung were beaten 21-19, 21-11 by Malaysia's top seeds Suhaili Laiman and Cheah Liek Hou in the men's doubles semi-finals.

Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) president Mohan Menon was delighted with the results, and said: "This is a testament to the fact that the SDSC is doing something right in identifying and grooming new talent.

"It's reassuring that our methodology is reaping rewards."

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