Badminton Life

Malaysians Make It To The Last Eight

SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Bernama)-- A medal at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games is within sight and within reach for the Malaysian shuttlers.

First Sonia Cheah stormed in the quarter-finals of the girls's singles and then Loh Wei Sheng followed suit to put Malaysia on the road for a podium finish when the dust settles over the badminton competition at the Indoor Stadium here on Friday.

Wei Sheng beat Emre Lale (Turkey) 21-17,21-9 and then took care of Vietnam's Nguyenn Huynh Hong Thao also in straight games in scores of 21-6,21-12 to book his quarter-final slot where Singapore's China-born Huang Chao lies in wait.

Sonia Cheah also made it to the last eight after topping her group with a 100 per cent record, beating all three of her opponents in Group F.

She beat Mariana Ugalde of Mexico 21-14,21-9 on Sunday and then strolled past Nigeria's Fatima Azeez 21-7,21-10 in an early match before wrapping up the preliminary round matches in the evening with a 21-7 21-9 victory over Ebru Tunali of Turkey Monday.

"It was a good match for me today against the Vietnamese player. I hope I can maintain my form and then produce a little more extra against my Singapore opponent tomorrow. We met in the World Junior in Mexico last month and I beat him then.

"Maybe the physiological advantage is with me but I still need to prove myself again," said Wei Sheng.

Sonia, the Malaysian No 1 junior who is seeded 3/4 here will play Thailand's Sapsiree Taeranattachai, the Group E winner, tomorrow for a place in the last four and if she gets past the Thai lass, than she is line for a shot at the bronze medal at the very least.

"But I am not thinking of a medal yet. For now I am proud of myself that I have reached the last eight. I am sure my family members would be proud of what I did in Singapore so far. I am going to bed early tonight, have a good rest and get ready for tomorrow.

"I am going to face an opponent whom I have never met before. But I think she is a better player than me. But I am ready to face her," said Sonia.

The girls singles has seen the fall of the No 1 seed Misaki Matsutomo after her failure to top her group with the distinction of being Group A champion going to the Dutch girl Josephine Wentholt who will now play Great Britain's Sarah Milne in the quarter-finals.

The No 2 seed, Naoko Fukuman of Japan is also gone after her loss to Vietnam's Vu Thi Trang in scores of 15-21,21-16,10-21 in a decisive Group H match Monday.

Thi Trang will play Denmark's Lene Clausen in the quarter-finals.

But it is China's Deng Xuan, seeded No 5/8 who looks the most impressive, sweeping past her Group D opponents with ease in the preliminary round matches and will come up against Spain's Carolina Marin in the last eight.

The boy's No 1 seed Kim Jin Wook of South Korea has lived up to the pre-match billing with a ticket to the last eight where he will play Indonesia's Evert Sukamta on Tuesday while Thailand's Pisit Poddchalat, seeded No 5/8 will play Huang Yuxiang of China, the No 3 seed.

Source from BERNAMA

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