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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