Olympics: S'pore's Yeo Jia Min eyes last 16 after swift win on debut
S'pore shuttler raring to go for today's match against S. Korean world No. 18
Despite a two-hour delay to her first Olympic match yesterday, Singapore shuttler Yeo Jia Min remained unflustered.
Instead, the 22-year-old stayed focused and remained composed as she comfortably beat Mexico's Gaitan Haramara in 25 minutes to get off to a flying start in her Group K opener in the women's singles.
After wrapping up the match at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Yeo, the world No. 30, was eagerly looking forward to this morning's final group encounter with South Korea's 18th-ranked Kim Ga-eun (8am). The winner will advance to the round of 16.
Said Yeo: "I feel good and I can't wait to go back on the court again. I can't wait to play against her and win the game to proceed to the next round."
Kim, who defeated Haramara 21-14, 21-9 on Saturday, will present a tougher challenge for Yeo, but the Singaporean holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over the Korean, winning on the last three occasions.
When asked about Yeo's next opponent, national singles coach Kelvin Ho said: "I think adaptation and overcoming the obstacles coming at her will be the key."
If her composure yesterday in spite of the delay was any indication, then Yeo should be well-placed to handle the challenge.
Playing after the earlier matches on their court had been extended, she raced to a 5-0 lead against Haramara in the first game, winning 21-7 in 12 minutes.
Yeo started off the second game on the backfoot, conceding two straight points. But that would be the last time she would let her 92nd-ranked opponent score consecutive points. She quickly regained her rhythm and pulled back to 6-2.
Despite Haramara's attempts to stretch out the match, getting to double figures, she could not prevent Yeo from easing to a victory on her Olympic debut.
Ho was full of praise for Yeo's performance.
"Jia Min was calm and steady and did not show signs of nervousness," he said.
"She was in control of the match and her shot quality improved throughout."
Yeo's compatriot, Loh Kean Yew, will also be bidding to progress to the round of 16 when he meets Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie in the final Group G match of the men's singles this evening.