BIRMINGHAM – Up against hosts England amid the roars of a partisan crowd of around 2,000 on Saturday (July 30), Singapore needed a big win in their Group G match to land a better shot at a mixed team badminton medal at the Commonwealth Games.

And the Singaporean shuttlers did just that, notching a hard-earned 4-1 victory to top the group and avoid big guns like India and Malaysia in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

Instead they will face runners-up from the other groups – either South Africa (Group A), Sri Lanka (Group D), Canada or Scotland (Group C).

Ahead of their encounter, England appeared to have the upper hand in the three doubles fixtures, while Singapore – with world champion Loh Kean Yew in the squad – were stronger in the two singles.

But in front of home fans armed with shrill whistles inside National Exhibition Centre’s Hall 5, husband-and-wife duo Terry Hee and Jessica Tan turned the tie on its head by stunning England’s own golden couple Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith 21-9, 21-15 in the mixed doubles opener.

The world No. 36 Singaporeans were not overawed by the occasion nor the difference in rankings as they played aggressively against their 11th-ranked opponents from the start to put the English pair on the back foot throughout.

Hee, who soldiered on despite rolling his ankle in the second game, said: “Surely, we all want to start well and take down the first match, but perhaps the opponents were under more pressure to perform in front of their home crowd.”

Tan added: “From the first point, we were very focused as we had prepared for a tough match against this higher-ranked pair whom we have not beaten before, and we are pleased with how we played.”

Loh took inspiration from his teammates’ blistering start and breezed past 55th-ranked Toby Penty 21-12, 21-12 in the ensuing men’s singles tie.

Last modified: July 31, 2022