Still in high spirits from the exhilarating finals of the women’s and men’s team events yesterday, spectators returned to the Singapore Indoor Stadium (SIS) and feasted on the back-to-back fixtures lined up for Day 4 of the tournament.
First up in the men’s singles RO16 was local favourite Derek Wong and Cambodian Cheng Phor Rom. Wong, who had won all his matches in the men’s team event, continued his winning streak to defeat Cheng 21-10, 21-7 in straight games. He advances to the quarterfinals tomorrow and will meet world number nine and 2013 SEA Games singles champion Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand.
The second Singapore Men’s Singles player, Loh Kean Yew, had a tough challenge against Vietnamese opponent Nguyen Tien Minh. Despite defeating the latter at 21-16 in the first set, Nguyen managed to score an equaliser in the second set with 21-15. In the last set which will seal their fate, Loh fought harder for his spot in the quarterfinals and won the match at 21-17. He will be facing Cambodia’s Chanmara Tep.
A victorious Loh after his long drawn battle. Photo: Randi Ang/SINGSOC
In the women’s singles RO16, local shuttler Grace Chua sought for her first victory in the tournament after falling to Thailand’s Busana Ongbumrungpan in the women’s team event. Up against Indonesia’s number one seed Lindaweni Fanetri, Chua gave her all but ultimately lost to the more experienced player 11-21, 19-21.
Grace Tan conceding her defeat. Photo: Randi Ang/ SINGSOC
Tan’s supporters cheering her on. Photo: Randi Ang/ SINGSOC
Chua’s compatriot Liang Xiaoyu had to win her match against Myanmar’s Yee Le Le to ensure a Singaporean representative in the women’s singles event, and she did not disappoint by taking home the match 21-4, 21-5.
Singapore’s mixed doubles players Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo were introduced to rousing cheers from the home supporters. They struggled at the start against Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, where they fell behind to a 4-0 scoreline. However, Chrisnanta and Neo fought back to close the gap to 12-13, before a controversial line call by the umpire awarded the next point to the Malaysians. The Singaporeans eventually fell 21-18 in a closely fought first game, before succumbing 21-16 in the second game.
Chrisnanta and Neo in action. Photo : Randi Ang/ SINGSOC
Nevertheless, Singapore is still ensured of a representative in the mixed doubles quarterfinals as Hee Yong Kiat and Tan Wei Han were given a bye in the RO16. Their match tomorrow will see them face off against Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
In the evening, Vanessa Neo was once again featured, this time in the women’s doubles RO16 where she was paired with Shinta Mulia Sari. They battled hard against the higher-ranked Indonesian shuttlers Anggia Shitta Awanda and Ni Ketut Mahadewi, but could not outplay the superior teamwork displayed by their opponents and were defeated 21-11, 21-15. In Singapore’s second women’s doubles match, Tan Wei Han and Elaine Chua were trounced 22-20, 21-14 by team event silver medallists Amelia Alicia Anscelly and Soong Fie Cho from Malaysia.
Women’s doubles pairing Tan and Chua in action. Photo: Randi Ang/ SINGSOC
In the Men’s Double matches, Terry Hee and Hendra Wijaya were defeated by Ronel Estanislao and Philip J. Escueta from the Philippines in two games 18-21,15-21. The second pair of Singapore’s men’s doubles players fared much better, in which Danny Bawa Chrisnanta was fielded again, along with Chayut Triyachart against Laotians Aniloud Keophithoun and Phakornkham Fongmalayseng. They emerged victorious in straight games 21-12, 21-15. They will compete with Thailand’s Pakkawat Vilailak and Wannawat Ampunsuwa tomorrow for a place in the semifinals.
Singapore’s hopes for a podium finish now rest on singles players Derek Wong, Loh Kean Yew and Liang Xiaoyu; men’s doubles pairing Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart; and mixed doubles pairing Hee Yong Kai and Tan Wei Han. Let’s continue to cheer them on!
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.