Yeo Jia Min eyes improvement after q-final run at world c'ship, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Yeo Jia Min eyes improvement after q-final run at world c'ship

Singapore shuttler Yeo Jia Min's run at the BWF World Championships in Switzerland ended at the quarter-finals, where she lost to the 2013 champion Ratchanok Intanon on Saturday morning (Aug 24, Singapore time).

World No. 32 Yeo, who was making her debut at the competition, fell 17-21, 11-21 to the world No. 7 in a 41-minute encounter.

Ratchanok will face the 2017 winner Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-finals. Okuhara, the Japanese world No. 4, had defeated China's world No. 7 He Bingjiao 21-7, 21-18.

The other semi-final will be played between China's Chen Yufei and India's P.V. Sindhu.

Ratchanok got off to a jittery start at the St Jakobshalle arena in Basel, allowing Yeo to draw level at 9-9 early in the first game. But the Thai, who was also the 2015 SEA Games champion, stepped up a gear and raced to a 15-10 lead before sealing it 21-17.

With her confidence boosted, Ratchanok dominated the second game, unleashing her full repertoire of smashes and easily won 21-11.

Yeo, 20, admitted that she was not up to the mark against her 24-year-old opponent, saying: "Today, my movement is slower than Ratchanok's, the shot quality was not good enough to pressure her, so she could control the match easily.

"It's the first time I'm playing in the quarter-finals of a big competition. It's a good experience, but I have many things to improve on after this."

One of her takeaways from Basel was the need for consistency.

She said: "I’ve learned about myself better (during) this tournament and also how I need to maintain my physical condition better, because to become a champion, I have to be consistent every day, not just a few days.

"I do not have many chances to play or train against top players so this was another good experience for me. I will go back and learn how to counter different players better and come back stronger soon."


Nonetheless, it was still a tournament to remember for the debutante, who had become the first Singaporean to reach the women's singles quarter-finals of the world championships.

But she added that she will not place additional stress on herself after her historic run, saying: "I think maybe people expect me to play better after this. But I will just try to focus on what I can do and not put pressure on myself.

"I really enjoy having the chance to fight on court. I treasure every chance I have to play. I hope this can be the start for me."

Yeo also thanked badminton fans in Singapore for supporting local shuttlers. Besides her, men's singles representative Loh Kean Yew, 22, also had a creditable outing. The world No. 34 reached the Round of 16, where he lost to world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen.

National singles head coach Mulyo Handoyo said both Yeo and Loh should continue to train and build a strong foundation for them to compete in the qualification period for the Olympics, which ends in April next year.

He said: "The Olympic qualification and SEA Games are both major events for Singapore. We make plans in terms of training and competition to achieve both goals."

Yeo Jia MinBWF World ChampionshipsRatchanok Intanon