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Ali Kasim
Saturday, Aug 2, 2014

Sports

C'wealth Games: Shuttlers on the march

The New Paper | Ali Kasim | Saturday, Aug 2, 2014

Singapore's mixed doubles pair of Danny Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo seemed to have erased the memory of their demoralising defeat in the semi-finals against Malaysia in the mixed team event on Sunday.

They cruised to the Round of 16 with a comfortable 21-13, 21-8 victory over Canada's Adrian Liu and Michelle Li at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last night, advancing after just 22 minutes.

The pair, ranked No. 10 in the world and seeded second in the tournament, were in fine form at the Emirates Arena, as the Canadians struggled to handle Chrisnanta and Neo's smashes.

The duo displayed the kind of form that national coach Liu Qingdong believes could propel them all the way to the final.

Speaking to The New Paper after the match, Liu said: "Danny and Vanessa played really well today, definitely up to their standards.

"Some of the doubles pairings might have been saving their energy because the shuttlers are also in the singles competition, but our guys don't have to because they are only in the doubles bracket and that's an advantage.

REDUCE ERRORS

"They still have to cut down on their unforced errors, though. Against tougher opponents that could hurt us more."

The Singapore pair showed no hangover after their agonising loss to the Malaysian pair in the mixed team semi-final, as the Republic eventually missed out on the final in a 3-2 defeat.

Chrisnanta and Neo won the first set before crashing to their lower seeded opponents, Chan Peng Soon and Lai Pei Jing, in the final two sets.

The duo, who have been playing together since 2009, could have a chance at redemption if they reach the quarter-finals.

They face Australia's Raymond Tam and Gronya Somerville in the next round, and should they win that, could get a rematch against Chan and Lai in the last eight.

"If it happens, the match will be a different scenario," said Liu, when asked what he thought of the possible rematch.

"It's not the same thing playing in a team event and an individual (doubles) event.

"The match will be interesting, because both sets of players know each other well.

"Once again, it will come down to experience and whoever focuses better."

Also in the mixed doubles yesterday, Singapore's Chayut Triyachart and Yao Lei beat Sri Lanka's Sachin Dias and Upuli Weerasinghe 21-12, 21-15.

They will play eighth-seeded Australian pair Renuga Veeran and Ross Smith in the Round of 16.

SMOOTH SAILING

The Singapore shuttlers also encountered little trouble in the singles events as Derek Wong and Huang Chao both progressed to the Round of 16.

Wong beat Seychelles' Georgie Cupidon 21-13, 21-8, while Chao dispatched Ayman Jaman of Bangladesh 21-7, 21-7.

Liang Xiaoyu also won her women's singles match against Ghana's Diana Archer easily, dropping just six points in a 21-4, 21-2 victory.

C'WEALTH GAMES


This article was first published on July 31, 2014.
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