SINGAPORE — Fresh from her giant-killing feat of beating the women’s world No. 1 shuttler, Yeo Jia Min emerged triumphant again on Thursday (22 August), becoming the first Singaporean player to advance into the women’s singles quarter-finals of the Badminton World Championships.
The 20-year-old beat Vietnam’s Vu Thi Trang 21-15, 14-21, 21-16 in her round-of-16 tie in Basel, Switzerland, despite suffering back pains during the second game.
She sets up a quarter-final tie with Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, the 2013 world champion, who defeated Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 18-21, 23-21, 21-10.
Yeo, a former junior world No. 1 and current world No. 32, had defeated women’s top seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan on Tuesday, the biggest upset so far in this edition of the World Championships.
With her first-ever win over 27-year-old Vu – who was a bronze medallist at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore – Yeo has topped the efforts of Li Li, the only other Singapore women’s singles player to reach the last-16, back in 2005. Li had lost to France’s Pi Hongyan then.
Ronald Susilo was the only other Singaporean singles player to reach the World Championships quarter-finals, when he beat China’s Chen Jin 21-19, 21-14 in the 2007 Kuala Lumpur edition.
Men’s singles player Loh Kean Yew was unable to follow the footsteps of Yeo and Susilo, when the 22-year-old lost his round-of-16 tie 13-21, 21-18, 17-21 to men’s world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan later on Thursday.