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Team Singapore athletes face strong competition at OUE Singapore Open

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Team Singapore athletes face strong competition at OUE Singapore Open

15 April, 2014   Nicole Chan

Derek Wong

Badminton players from around the world, including Team Singapore shuttler Derek Wong (above), took part in the OUE Singapore Open 2014. (Photo by VoxSports) 


Badminton professionals from around the world gathered under the roof of the Singapore Indoor Stadium for the qualifying rounds of the OUE Singapore Open 2014 on 8 April.


Formerly known as the Li-Ning Singapore Open, the OUE Singapore Open attracted more than just local athletes. It drew in players from countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, Vietnam and Sweden.


Ronnie Lim, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA),  said: “The Open has had a long tradition in Singapore. The tournament typically attracts around 80 per cent of the top players in the world.” 


“Traditional powerhouses like China, Indonesia, and a number of other countries send their top players over here… including Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei (below), the men’s world number one. From China we also have Li Xuerui the women’s world number one as well.”

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Lim Sau Boon) 


“Obviously there’s more pressure playing in front of a home crowd but what we hope to do is translate some of this pressure into positive energy for them to do well.”

Despite the daunting level of competition, our local players definitely put their best foot forward on the first day of the Open. Among the world class players were Team Singapore’s Derek Wong and Huang Chao, who won their first men’s doubles event against Malaysia.


The duo have been playing the sport for 17 years, following in the footsteps of their parents who were national team players in Singapore and China respectively. Along the way, they have had many takeaways from investing their time in the sport.


Wong shared: “You get to meet new friends, and bond with coaches and players – I think that’s very important. In badminton life, you have ups and downs. Sometimes you play well and sometimes you don’t. It’s in those times when you don’t play well and you make a turnover, playing better and better – that’s when you start to actually feel that this is not just a sport. It is something that trains you – your mental, physical self… You as a person.” 

Derek Wong

Team Singapore shuttler Derek Wong. (Photo by VoxSports) 


To the players, badminton distinguishes itself as a sport which engages a variety of skills – mental strength, strategy and technique.

“Badminton requires everything,” Wong added.


Both the popularity and standard of the sport seems to be at a very healthy level at present. SBA CEO Lim also shared some insights on the rising standards of local badminton.

“Last year the result was a bit disappointing, and there was a lot of press about it. As a result of that and a series of other events, we decided to undergo a coaching re-organisation earlier this year. Ever since then, we have seen tremendous improvement in our results.”


“If you go to a lot of community centres and look at the badminton courts, most of the time it’s fully booked…So I think badminton is pretty popular and definitely one of the top sports in Singapore.”

Derek Wong progressed to the Round of 16 where he went up against India’s Sai Praneeth B. in the men’s singles. Despite putting up a valiant fight, Wong fell to his opponent 24-22 and 21-19 in the first and second set respectively.

Also among the top 16 was women’s doubles pair Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei, who lost to South Korea’s A Ra Ko and Hae Won Yoo 21-9 and 21-11.

However, all hope was not lost as mixed doubles pair Danny Bawa and Vanessa Neo triumphed over Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam 21-12 and 21-18 to make it to the quarter finals. Although they eventually fell to China’s Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin 21-12 and 22-20, the pair’s performance was commendable.


Event highlights:

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Calvin Teoh) 

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Calvin Teoh) 

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Calvin Teoh) 

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Calvin Teoh) 

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Daniel Quek) 

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Daniel Quek) 

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Daniel Quek) 

OUE Singapore Open
(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Lim Sau Boon) 

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Lim Sau Boon) 

OUE Singapore Open

(Photo by Sport Singapore photographer/ Calvin Teoh)