Team Singapore's Danny Bawa Chrisnanta (right) and Vanessa Neo Yu Yan in action against Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon and Ng Hui Lin in the Mixed Doubles Round of 32 (Photo by Joseph Nair / Sport Singapore)
Team Singapore's badminton players secured victories in their mixed doubles matches against India and Malaysia on Thursday and will advance to the Round of 16 on Friday.
The mixed doubles pair of Chayut Triyachart and Yao Lei were involved in a fierce contest with their Indian counterparts but emerged as 2-1 victors after a gruelling match that spanned over 40 minutes. Team Singapore took the lead after narrowly winning the first game 22-20. Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre rallied back in the second game to beat the Singaporeans 21-17, but Triyachart and Yao held their nerves and defeated their opponents 21-13 in the final match decider.
In the other mixed doubles pairing, Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo beat Malaysia 2-1 in a topsy turvy match that was loaded with excitement. The Singaporeans won the first game 21-15 but were surprisingly beaten 21-6 by some incisive finishing from Malaysian duo Chan Peng Soon and Ng Hui Lin. Team Singapore then came full circle by winning the last game 21-15, and secured a place in the next phase of the competition.
The Singaporean pairing have been competing in mixed doubles together for the past three years and they will now face India in the round of 16.
Team Singapore's Danny Bawa Chrisnanta (left) and Vanessa Neo Yu Yan in action against Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon and Ng Hui Lin in the Mixed Doubles Round of 32 (Photo by Joseph Nair / Sport Singapore)
Danny said he was setting high goals for himself and Vanessa. “I have come here to win. There is a chance but we have tough opponents in India, if we can beat them then we are into the quarterfinals,” he said.
“It was very good. In the first game, we knew the conditions and were ready, got a good start, went on the offensive, controlled them all the way,” said Danny.
“In the second game they changed strategy but I feel that mentally we lost to ourselves in that. The important thing though is that we adjusted to win the third game,” he added.
However, later in the afternoon, Team Singapore's men's doubles pairing of Danny and Chayut - silver medallists in the Commonwealth Games in August - were up against home favourites Kim Sarang and Kim Gijung, whom they lost 2-0 to, ending their hopes of a place in the semifinals.
“It was disappointing, we could have done better than this,” said Danny. “We didn’t get a good start in the first game and made some simple mistakes – easy mistakes. We made it too easy for the opponents. In the second game it was close, they were more experienced than us so they handled it well,” he said.