Tuesday, May 23, 2017
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
One-sided contests dominated today’s opening session at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2017, with Malaysia, Vietnam, Scotland and Macau emerging easy winners.
Canada were expected to trouble Vietnam in sub-group 2A, but the Canadians chose to rest their strongest players. Michelle Li and Rachel Honderich sat out and Vietnam were in no danger against the Canadians, whitewashing them 5-0 without dropping a game.
Do Tuan Duc/Pham Nhu Thao started the rout, beating Nyl Yakura/Brittney Tam in Mixed Doubles 21-13 21-18 in 25 minutes. Pham returned for the last match, the Women’s Doubles with Vu Thi Trang, and they shut out Michelle Tong/Josephine Wu 21-9 21-13 to complete the 5-0 result, with none of the matches going beyond 33 minutes.
The other sub-group 2A tie, featuring Scotland and New Zealand, went Scotland’s way, 4-1. Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh (featured image) provided the breakthrough at the beginning, holding off a strong challenge from Kevin Dennerly-Minturn/Oliver Leydon-Davis to win 19-21 21-10 21-15.
Kirsty Gilmour made it 2-0 with a 21-minute rout of Gaea Galvez, 21-5 21-19 in Women’s Singles before Keiran Merrilees stopped Oscar Guo 21-15 21-18 to ensure victory for Scotland.
“We wanted to really win today after losing to Canada,” said Merrilees, who had suffered food poisoning a day before his opening match yesterday. “We had to make changes in our team in Women’s Doubles, make it stronger, and that helped a lot. I didn’t play well, it was enough to complete the match, but I have to play better tomorrow. I wasn’t really concentrating. I wasn’t going a 100 percent; hopefully I can play better. If we beat Vietnam we still can win the group, so that’s the aim, but we know it’s going to be hard. We were surprised with Canada, I don’t really know (why they didn’t field their best players). When we saw that we knew we had a good chance at getting to No.1 in the group.”
Gilmour returned for her Women’s Doubles with Julie MacPherson and the pair needed just 25 minutes to beat Sally Fu/Danielle Tahuri.
“This (venue) is brilliant, I’m taking in the surroundings and this environment because of course we are going to be back here in a year for the Commonwealth Games,” said Gilmour. “It’s something I know that is on the minds of all the Commonwealth countries so I’m trying to drink it all in and learn as much as I possibly can.”
New Zealand earned a consolation win through Oliver Leydon-Davis/Susannah Leydon-Davis in Mixed Doubles, beating Adam Hall/Eleanor O’Donnell 21-17 12-21 21-13.
Scotland and Canada are level with a win each from two matches, while Vietnam leads the group with two wins. Scotland will hope for an upset over Vietnam to nurse hopes of emerging top of the group.
In sub-group 1C, Germany exited the tournament as they crashed to their second straight defeat. Malaysia wrapped up the tie 5-0 without dropping a game; none of the matches went over 35 minutes.
Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing gave Malaysia the lead in Mixed Doubles, beating Mark Lamsfuss/Isabel Herttrich 21-17 21-13.
Spearhead Lee Chong Wei took 34 minutes to get past Fabian Roth (21-12 21-11) in his Men’s Singles. Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong were extended by Jones Ralfy Jansen/Josche Zurwonne in the second game but came away victors at 21-16 21-19 in their Men’s Doubles.
Goh Jin Wei (Women’s Singles) and Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei (Women’s Doubles) did not let up the pressure and duly completed the rout.
Macau Blank New Caledonia
Macau China chalked up their second straight win of sub-group 3A beating New Caledonia 5-0.
New Caledonia started combatively, with Ronan Ho-Yagues/Morgan Paitio competing on level terms with Che Pui Ngai/Lam Hou Him in their opening Men’s Doubles.
But once the Macau pair took the third game and the match, the rest of the New Caledonian challenge fell apart. Ng Weng Chi made it 2-0 in Women’s Singles. Jeremy LeMaitre put up some resistance against Pui Pang Fong in their Men’s Singles encounter, which was won by Macau 21-9 24-22.
With two wins, Macau emerged on top of sub-group 3A.