Singapore men’s badminton team to learn from 3-0 loss to Japan in Asian Games round of 16
HANGZHOU – The crowd at the Binjiang Gymnasium appeared unanimous in their support as loud chants rang out for Singapore’s Jason Teh. The spectators wanted a fight and Teh obliged, albeit briefly.
With the Republic already 2-0 down in the round of 16 men’s team event on Thursday, world No. 83 Teh was battling to keep whatever slim hopes of advancing to the Asian Games quarter-finals alive.
He had lost the first game 21-16 to Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama and was trailing 17-20 in the second, but Teh dug deep to save seven match points against his 15th-ranked opponent.
But Tsuneyama proved too strong and eventually won 26-24 to seal his country’s spot in the last eight. Japan were bronze medallists at the 2018 Asiad.
Teh said: “I gave my all today, but I don’t know why I’m feeling a bit fatigued today. If you play with Japanese players, it’s important to be really fit because they don’t have a lot of unforced errors and their defence was really good.
“A lot of my attacking, I followed up but I made a lot of unforced errors because I’m really tired. It was either unforced errors or my follow-up shot quality was not very good and he had a lot of good chances to counter.
“There were no regrets for this match. He’s a world-class player, so there’s a lot to learn from him.”
While world No. 9 Loh Kean Yew had started his match strongly to lead Kenta Nishimoto 21-17, the 12th-ranked Japanese fought back and prevailed in the next two games 21-14, 21-9.
Loh said: “It’s disappointing, it could’ve been a lot better. He played very well, was very consistent and he kept up the intensity. As he gained confidence, it was harder to play against him.”
The men’s doubles pair of Loh Kean Hean and Andy Kwek also said they needed to work on their consistency after falling 21-10, 21-10 to Japan’s 2021 world champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi.
Kean Hean said: “We really played our best, there were a lot of nice rallies and shots…
“We need to work on our consistency because they did better than us, so we need to work harder because the difference in standards is still there. The takeaway is we do play our best and now it’s how to move forward.”
Kwek added: “We just wanted to do our best against the former world champions. We had a pretty good start in both sets, but it’s about how we maintain our consistency throughout the game and how we make those interesting rallies consistent throughout the whole match.”