Vietnam’s Pham Cao Cuong and China’s Qin Jinjing were the prominent names who failed to qualify for the singles quarter-finals of the Youth Olympic Games 2014 today.
Pham, No.8 in the Men’s Singles world junior rankings and 5/8 seed, was expected to qualify from Group D but was fell rather tamely to India’s Aditya Joshi. Pham was outplayed in the first game but recovered in the second and nearly took it to a decider; Joshi however closed it out 21-16 21-19.
Qin’s fate was sealed after her opening day’s Women’s Singles loss to Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chia Hsin. Although Qin, No.5 in the world junior rankings, won her match today over Croatia’s Maja Pavlinic 21-7 21-13, it wasn’t sufficient as Lee maintained her winning record in Group C. Lee decimated Ukraine’s Vladyslava Lesnaya in just 20 minutes, 21-5 21-6.
Another promising Women’s Singles player to miss out was Ruthvika Shivani. The 5/8 seed Indian could last just 30 minutes against Indonesia’s Ruselli Hartawan in a 21-14 21-15 loss.
All the other favoured players progressed in quick time, with only two singles matches on the day going to three games. The Men’s Singles quarter-finals tomorrow will see top seed Shi Yuqi (China) against Max Weisskirchen (Germany); Cheam June Wei (Malaysia) against Aditya Joshi (India); Kanta Tsuneyama (Japan) against Ginting Anthony (Indonesia) and Lee Cheuk Yiu (Hong Kong) against Lin Gui Pu (China, 2).
Ruselli Hartawan’s (featured image) victory over Shivani helped her to a quarter-final showdown with top-seed Akane Yamaguchi (Japan). In the other matches, Lee Chia Hsin will take on Kim Ga Eun (Korea); Ng Tsz Yau (Hong Kong) will face Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand) and Clara Azurmendi (Spain) will battle He Bing Jiao (China, 2).
Luis Ramon Garrido’s spunk was enough to win him applause but not the match against Men’s Singles favourite Lin Gui Pu. The Mexican (above) fought with plenty of heart in the last Group H match against Lin. He had only a 21-14 21-14 loss to show for it, but Garrido, hungry for exposure to this level, stated that he was richer by experience.
“It was a really hard match. He is the world junior champion. It was a good experience. It’s the first time I’m playing a Chinese. In the beginning I was nervous, but then as the match got on I was playing okay. But the speed of the Chinese guy was really high. I couldn’t keep up; I got tired and started making mistakes.”
Garrido started playing badminton when he was just two years old. His father, a racket sports teacher at university, taught him the sport at an early age. However, unable to pursue his ambition of become a professional player in Mexico, Garrido shifted two years ago to Copenhagen, where he trains with a club and plays in the second division.
“It was tough moving to Copenhagen because you have to do everything for yourself. It’s tiring, you have to wake up at 6am, you have to make your food and everything else. But if you love badminton, you have to take every opportunity. One year ago my goal was to be in Nanjing.”
In Mixed Doubles, top seeds Ruslan Sarsekenov (Ukraine) and Akane Yamaguchi were surprised by Andraz Krapez (Slovenia)/Alida Chen (Netherlands) 21-19 21-17. Krapez and Chen made the quarter-finals with three straight wins from Group A.
Qin Jinjing made up for her disappointment in Women’s Singles by ensuring a quarter-final place in Mixed Doubles with Thai partner Mek Narongrit; they beat Daniel Guda (Australia)/Ruselli Hartawan (Indonesia) 21-13 21-19 in Group B.
Cheam June Wei (Malaysia) and Hong Kong’s Ng Tsz Yau (above) edged past ¾ seeds Lin Gui Pu (China)/Kim Ga Eun (Korea) 22-20 21-19 and will face Group D toppers Lu Chia Hung (Chinese Taipei)/Lee Ying Ying (Malaysia).
The other two quarter-finals will see Kanta Tsuneyama (Japan)/Lee Chia Hsin (Chinese Taipei) against Shi Yuqi (China)/Joy Lai (Australia) and Ginting Anthony (Indonesia)/Katarina Beton (Slovenia) against Sachin Premashan Dias (Sri Lanka)/He Bing Jiao (China).