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SEA Games 2023: Singapore’s badminton teams qualify for semi-finals

PHNOM PENH – Singapore are through to the SEA Games badminton men’s and women’s teams semi-finals, and are assured of at least two joint bronzes.

In the quarter-finals on Monday, the men’s team beat the Philippines 3-1 to set up a semi-final with Indonesia on Wednesday.

Loh Kean Yew eased past Jewel Angelo Albo 21-14, 21-13 in the first singles, but Loh Kean Hean and Andy Kwek lost the first doubles 21-14, 21-15 to Christian Bernado and Alvin Morada.

Jason Teh then tamed Lance Gabriel Vargas 21-11, 21-11, before first-time partners Terry Hee and Nge Joo Jie overcame Solomon Jr. Padiz and Julius Villabrille 13-21, 21-19, 21-18.

Hee, who used to pair with Kean Hean before focusing on the mixed doubles with his wife Jessica Tan, said: “Today’s line-up was what the coaches felt was best for the team to win the match.

“There is pressure on us, and it’s the same for our opponents. But we believed we would win and it was important we never gave up. We are very happy to contribute the winning point.”

In their 3-0 women’s quarter-final victory over Vietnam, Yeo Jia Min beat Nguyen Thuy Linh 22-20, 21-18, before Insyirah Khan came from behind to down Vu Thi Trang 21-16, 13-21, 22-20.

Khan said: “It felt surreal on court, and I’m happy to contribute a win. The key was to keep believing in myself, which was what my coach told me, and in the end I managed to overcome the difficulties to win.”

Jin Yujia and Crystal Wong then sealed victory and a Wednesday semi-final showdown against defending champions Thailand with a 21-14, 21-19 win over Dinh Thi Phuong and Pham Thi Khanh.

Singapore Badminton Association technical director Martin Andrew said: “While the men’s singles were comfortable wins, the men’s doubles and women’s matches were tough and close.

“Insyirah showed real character, while Jia Min and the women’s doubles kept to their task well. For the men, the Filipino top pair are strong, so we made changes to strengthen our second doubles. It was all about the overall win, and our players got the job done. The semi-finals will be difficult matches, but we still have a chance.”