Top Taiwan badminton stars knocked out of Singapore Open

Taipei, July 14 (CNA) Taiwan’s leading badminton stars Olympic gold medalist doubles pairing Lee Yang (李洋) and Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟), and Chou Tien-chen (周天成) were knocked out of the Singapore Open, following defeats in their men’s doubles and men’s singles matches on Thursday.

The world no. 4 and third-seeded Taiwanese men’s doubles duo Lee and Wang were outdueled over 54 minutes by He Jiting (何济霆) and Zhou Haodong (周昊東) of China 21-18, 21-23, 21-14 in their first-ever meeting, in the second round of the tournament, held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The opening game was tightly contested with Lee and Yang trailing 19-18 before He and Zhou found a game point opportunity and proceeded to take the opener.

The close contest continued into the second game with the score tied at 21 points each, before the Olympic champions found something extra to secure the next two points and force the decider.

However, in the third game He and Zhou surged into a commanding lead from 8-7 by winning five consecutive points. With that cushion, the Chinese pair never looked back and went on to win the match.

The defeat was only Lee and Yang’s second competitive match after recovering from COVID-19.

Their agent told the media on July 4 that both men were experiencing a “slight fever and sore throat” after competing in the Malaysia Open, held from June 28 to July 3.

They were forced to withdraw from the Malaysia Masters tournament, held from July 5-10, but bounced back with a strong performance on Tuesday, the first day of the Singapore Open by routing Norwegians Torjus Flaatten and Vegard Rikheim in straight games 21-10, 21-14.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese star shuttler Chou Tien-chen (周天成) was also knocked out of the Singapore Open on Thursday after another hot performance by HS Prannoy of India in the second round.

HS Prannoy continued his red-hot streak, upsetting the world No. 4 twice in the space of a fortnight, having defeated Chou in the Malaysia Open, before stunning the Taiwanese player 14-21, 22-20, 21-18 in the latest 69-minute match.

Chou holds a 4-3 head-to-head lead over Prannoy.

Earlier on Wednesday, Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying’s (戴資穎) father Tai Nan-kai (戴楠凱) said she had withdrawn from the Singapore Open due to a strained left hamstring.

The announcement came after Tai, the world no. 2, sailed into the second round of the woman’s singles on the second day of the Singapore Open earlier that day, beating compatriot Pai Yu-po (白馭珀) in two straight games 21-17, 21-16, in a match that Lasted 29 minutes.

The Super 500 tournament 2022 Singapore Open, held from July 12-17, carries a total purse of US$370,000 (NT$11.07 million).

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