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LAST year’s runners-up Thailand and All Star Europe registered 4-0 wins over Singapore and Philippines respectively in their opening matches in the 3rd Axiata Cup badminton team championships at the Britama Sport Mall, Kelapa Gading,in Jakarta on Thursday.

Thailand, led by world No 11 Boonsak Ponsana, packed had little difficulty against the young Singaporean side. Boonsak led the way with a 23-21, 21-12 win over 17-year-old Loh Kean Yew in 30 minutes.

Former world champion Ratchanok Intanon then came on court and tamed Singapore’s China-born Liang Xiaoyu 21-19, 21-18 in the women’s singles. The world No 7 took 39 minutes to give Thailand a 2-0 lead.

World No 15 Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech had no difficulty in their 21-15, 21-14 win over Singapore’s scratch combination Hendra Wijaya-Loh Kean Hean in the men’s doubles before Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam walked away with a 21-19,8-21, 21-11Ā over Terry Hee Yong Kai-Tan Wei Han in the mixed for the 4-0 whitewash.

“This is my second Axiata Cup and we made the final last year before losing to Malaysia. Hopefully today’s win will boost our confidence for tomorrow’s (Friday’) match against Europe. It is going to be tough facing the Europeans as they are experienced players,” said Boonsak after his win.

Europe, represented by players from Scotland, Russia and France proved too strong for the young Philippines side.

Seven-time France national champion Brice Leverdez needed only 28 minutes to give Europe their first point with an effortless 21-6, 21-15 win over Jayson Oba-On before Scottish ace Kirsty Gilmour made it 2-0 with a 21-16, 21-8 win over Sarah-Joy Barredo, a 17-year-old High School student, in 29 minutes.

European champions Ivan Sozonov-Vladimir Ivanov of Russia were too strong for Philip Joper Escueta-Ronel Estanislao, needing only 22 minutes for a 21-16, 21-13 win. In the mixed doubles Scotland’s Robert Blair-Imogen Bankier stormed past Paul Jeffersen Vivas-Eleanor Christine Inlayo with a 21-18, 21-10 scoreline for a 4-0 win.

RESULTS

THAILANDĀ  4 Ā  Ā  Ā SINGAPOREĀ  Ā  0
(Thailand first)

Men’s singles
Boonsak PonsanaĀ Ā beatĀ  Loh Kean YewĀ  23-21, 21-12

Women’s singles
Ratchanok IntanonĀ beat Liang Xiaoyu 21-19, 21-18

Men’s doubles
Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon PuangpuapechĀ beat Hendra Wijaya-Loh Kean Hean 21-15, 21-14

Mixed doubles
Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee ThoungthongkamĀ beat Terry Hee Yong Kai-Tan Wei Han 21-19, 8-21, 21-11

EUROPEĀ  Ā  4 Ā  Ā  PHILIPPINESĀ Ā Ā Ā 0
(Europe first)

Men’s singles
Brice Leverdez (Fra) beat Jayson Oba-onĀ  21-6, 21-15

Men’s doubles
Ivan Sozonov-Vladimir (Rus) beat Philip Joper Escueta-Ronel Estanislao 21-16, 21-13

Women’s singles
Kirsty GilmourĀ (Scot) beatĀ  Sarah Joy Barredo 21-16, 21-8Ā 

Mixed doubles
Robert Blair-Imogen BankierĀ Ā beat Paul Jeffersen Vivas-Eleanor InlayoĀ 21-18, 21-10

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