Yeo Jia Min smashes her way into last 16 of Asian meet
S'pore's top woman shuttler defeats 2015 SEA Games winner Busanan at Asian meet
Singapore's top woman shuttler Yeo Jia Min sent Thailand's 2015 South-east Asia Games winner Busanan Ongbamrungphan packing in her opening match of the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, China, yesterday.
Yeo, 20, outplayed her 23-year-old opponent in just over half an hour to win 21-15, 21-13.
The world No. 32 showed that she's a force to be reckoned with by trouncing the 24th-ranked Busanan.
She built a steady lead from the start and did not drop more than three points at a time.
In the second set, Yeo extended her lead to 19-9, but was held off for four points before she finally sealed the win.
Delighted, she said: "I focused on myself today and am still learning to to bring out my strengths. I'm happy that I can win."
To reach the quarter-finals, Yeo must find a way past world No. 4 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in today's second round.
She is unfazed about facing the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist, who had beaten her at the 2017 Australia Open.
"I don't think too much about my opponent. I will just give my best," said Yeo. "(But, Yamaguchi) can run a lot, so I have to prepare for longer rallies."
Yeo was not the only Singaporean representative who started with a win yesterday.
The women's doubles pair of Jin Yujia and Lim Ming Hui also triumphed in their opening match by defeating India's Aparna Balan and Sruthi KP 21-12, 21-10 in just 25 minutes.
Today, they will face Japanese opponents, the third-seeded pair Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara.
The Republic's men did not enjoy such good fortune, however.
Singles representative Loh Kean Yew was crushed 21-12, 21-13 by world No. 2 Shi Yuqi, while doubles duo Danny Chrisnanta and Terry Hee lost 21-12, 21-17 to the world No. 1 pair of Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo from Indonesia.
Hee, who found many takeaways from the loss, said: "We opened up the game and did not rush as we are not as quick as Sukamoljo, but our mistake levels are higher.
"They are very good players and it's a privilege to learn from them."
Loh said his defeat by Shi showed that he needs to work even harder to bridge the gap with the top players.
After losing the first game, Loh started the second game better, levelling at 6-6 but Shi then sped away by racking up eight consecutive points.
On letting the second game slip, Loh said: "I couldn't maintain my focus and he caught up with me in an instant.
"Once you lose focus, high-level players wouldn't let an opportunity like this go and they will gain back the lead."
Shi's fellow compatriots Chen Long and Lin Dan also won both of their opening matches.
Fourth seed Chen Long will meet Malaysia's Chong Wei Feng next, while Lin Dan will face world No. 5 Chou Tien Chen.
Japan's top-ranked Kento Momota will meet Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk Yiu, after beating Korea's Lee Dong Guen 21-18, 21-17.