[See image gallery at www.badzine.net] The ‘A’ in Group 1A could be taken to mean all rounders as all three contained within are unlike the other subgroups.
By Aaron Wong, Badzine Correspondent live in Gold Coast. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)
In hindsight, Thailand won the tie against Hong Kong 3-2 largely because they were lucky to snag the first game of the opening men’s doubles. Based on the playing style of Bodin Isara / Nipitphon Phuangphuapet, Hong Kong fielding Or Chin Chung / Tang Chun Man (photo) for men’s doubles instead was ideal and the underdogs had clearly also thought ahead about their ploy.
Tang/Or orchestrated a flurry of high elevation to rain dual left-handed cross court drops and smashes, seldom shying away from promptly instigating the commotion from deep in court, knowing full well these were unlikely to be instant winners. Thailand’s Bodin Isara may not have realised how much these busy elaborate rallies were a smokescreen to avoid his signature shot.
The preferred Thai onslaught were flatter exchanges requiring Phuangphuapet (photo) to move forward and his contribution was felt most in securing the opening game. The inevitable still came about as Isara dug a gulf between the pairs in the rubber game with his phenomenal smash that regularly only required one clean strike to close a point. Thailand captured the opening match, 22-20, 17-21, 21-11.
The singles matches were one side affairs and offered one victory each to either side so it was Tse Ying Suet / Poon Lok Yan (photo) who kept the tie alive for Hong Kong by surviving a thoroughly energy sapping women’s doubles encounter with Jongkolphan Kititharakul / Rawinda Prajongjai, 21-15, 18-21, 21-14. Tse’s flair for defending from sitting on the ground and picking dropshots just in the nick of time entertained the crowd and saved many a crucial point to frustrate her opponents.
Late night fans screamed a belated happy 20th birthday to Dechapol Puavaranukroh and his gift was delivered in the form of the first game of mixed doubles owing to mis-timed smashes and drops from Reginald Lee Chun Hei on the other side of the net. Hong Kong bounced back ahead for most of the second game but a quick succesion of four unforced errors from them at 15-15 cost them the match and tie. Taerattanachai/Puavaranukroh (photo) won 21-16, 21-16, with the most exciting rally turning up on match point.
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