After the intense Quarterfinal Women’s Team match between Vietnam and Malaysia – the latter won 3-2 (0-2, 1-2, 2-0, 2-1,2-0) - which lasted almost 4 hours , Day One of the 28th Southeast Asian Games saw the first matches of the Quarterfinals Men’s Team at 17:00.
Singapore and her immediate neighbor, Malaysia, won their opponents Laos and Cambodia respectively with a unilateral score of 3-0 (2-0, 2-0, 2-0). Malaysia, an international badminton powerhouse, sealed their win almost effortlessly. They won Cambodia within 47 minutes, earning their rights to proceed to the Semifinals. The star player, Lee Chong Wei, did not disappoint his supporters and finished his singles battle in an impressive 13-minute match. The team will be competing against Indonesia at 19:00 on 10 June.
Lee Chong Wei - a familiar name amongst the Malaysian nationals – in action. He received a thunderous welcome from his fellow countrymen, some of whom specifically crossed the causeway to support him. Photo credit: Randi Ang, SINGSOC
Cambodia’s Por Rom Cheng getting ready for the smash, as he struggles to keep pace against the more experienced Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia.
Photo credit: Randi Ang, SINGSOC
Next up to secure a place in the Semifinals is Team Singapore. The team’s Derek Wong Zi Liang led the first match against Laos’ Outhaithani Phanthalang with a 21-4, and despite the latter’s effort to set the tone in his favor, Wong eventually won the second set 21-10. A tougher battle was put up by Wong’s team mate, the 21-yr old Sean Lee Kwan Ting, in the third match against Phakornkham Fongmalayseng who is 6 years his senior. His fight against the latter’s years of experience was victorious, sealing his Singles match at 21-11 and 21-10.
Laotian Phanthalang Outhaithani attempting to break through Derek Wong’s defense in the match up against Singapore. Photo credit: Randi Ang/ SINGSOC
All eyes on Singapore’s Lee Kwan Ting Sean against Laos’ Phakornkham Fongmalayseng. Photo credit: Randi Ang/ SINGSOC
Which country will be the last to qualify for the Men’s Team Semi finals?
Long after Malaysia and Singapore both secured their places in the Semi finals, the battle between Cambodia and Thailand was still ongoing, with both countries fighting all their might to meet Singapore in the next tier.
Vietnam led the first two matches with a 2-1 win, but once Thailand’s Ponsana Boonsak stepped into the scene in the third match, the nation’s quest to secure the final match is thwarted. Ponsana won Cambodian Pham Cao Cuong 2-0 (21-10, 21-9), which was not entirely unexpected as the two men are ranked 186 places apart in the men’s singles world ranking.
Following up Ponsana’s victory in the fourth match was a doubles game, whereby the Thais once again emerged victorious with a 2-0 score (21-13, 21-12). The overall score then tied 2-2, driving the crowd into frenzy in anticipation of the fifth match, which will seal the team’s fates.
Representing both Thailand and Vietnam are Avihingsanon Suppanyu and Le Ha Anh respectively. Those who know the sport well were able to guess the outcome of this match as Avihingsanon is by no means a fresh face; he has been playing in the field for many years and is ranked 47 internationally. And as expected, he won the match, securing Thailand’s place in the Semifinals 2-0 (21-10, 21-16).
A quick recap
In the 26th Southeast Asian Games, Indonesia led the region for the Men’s Team event, followed by Malaysia, whereas Thailand and Singapore won the bronze medal. Indonesia was also the overall Badminton champion in 2011, as she took home the gold medals in the other events of the sport: Men’s singles, Men’s doubles, Women’s doubles, and Mixed doubles.
The team events were not held in the 27th Southeast Asian Games; yet Indonesia maintained her reign as the champion, securing the gold for the Women’s singles, Men’s doubles, and Mixed doubles events.
Will Indonesia be continuing her winning streak in the 28th Southeast Asian Games?
Join us at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to find out for yourselves as tickets are still available! If you prefer a more laid back environment at home to enjoy the games, please visit our Live Streaming page (under Digital Stadium).
Our favourite SEA Games 2015 mascot - Nila - makes a surprise appearance on the first day of Badminton matches, giving the audience a good photo opportunity. Photo credit: Loy Kheng Wee/ SINGSOC
This author of this article is a volunteer content producer with Team Nila. For more content produced by Team Nila, please head to the 28th SEA Games Social Wall.