Mixed doubles pair in Malaysia Open quarter-finals
Mixed doubles duo stun Indonesia's world No. 8 pair to keep Olympic hopes alive
Singapore's top badminton mixed doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo kept their hopes of their first Olympics outing alive, as they progressed to the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open.
Yesterday, they beat Indonesia's world No. 8 duo of Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto 21-19, 21-14 in the second round of the Superseries Premier event.
In the first round, they defeated South Koreans Kim Gi Jung and Shin Seung Chan 21-17, 21-18. The victory over the Indonesians also avenged a first-round loss in last month's All England Championships, which Jordan and Susanto went on to win.
"We analysed their game play with our coach and were more alert this time," said Neo (in the background).
"We are trying not to think about the Olympic qualification because we want to keep our focus.
"In our current position, we have nothing to lose and all to gain, so we want to go into every match giving our opponents a good fight."
At August's Olympics, each nation can field a maximum of two pairs, of which both must be in the top eight of the Road to Rio rankings.
Otherwise, only the country's top duo may qualify if they are in the top 16 combinations on the Road to Rio list, with slots also reserved for continental representation.
As such, the world No. 28 Singaporeans need to displace Thailand's world No. 17 duo of Bodin Issara and Savitree Amitrapai for 13th spot in the Road to Rio rankings, to be one of 16 mixed doubles pairings to make it to Rio.
Before the Malaysia Open, which Bodin and Savitree are not taking part in, Chrisnanta (in the foreground) and Neo were 10,616 points behind the Thai pair.
But thousands of points will be up for grabs in the four remaining tournaments - the Malaysia Open, next week's OUE Singapore Open at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, China Masters and Badminton Asia Championships - which they will be competing in during this Olympics qualifying period.