China’s rising star Shi Yuqi wants to keep his country’s rich tradition in the sport and has set his sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
But for now he wants to help his country win the E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships after a disastrous outing at the last championships in Hyderabad, India in 2016 where China failed to go beyond quarter-finals.
Fresh from winning the India Masters in New Delhi last week, Shi Yuqi powered through a 21-16, 21-13 over Ryan Ng Zin Rei in the first singles to lead his country to a 5-0 whitewash over Singapore in their opening Group A match at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium in Alor Setar, Malaysia on Wednesday.
“It has been a good start for me this year and winning the India Open is the first step to my targets in 2018 and one tournament that tops my list is the All-England,” said Shi Yuqi after his win over Ryan Ng.
He also reminded that he has not forgotten his 21-12, 21-10 defeat to Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei in last year’s All England final.
“Yes…the All-England is special and every badminton player wants to win this prestigious title in their badminton career. I am no exception.”
In Hyderabad the Chinese fell to an embarassing 3-0 defeat to South Korea in the quarter-finals. Shi Yuqi was in the team in Hyderabad.
In the match against Singapore the Chinese also unleashed another of their risings stars Lu Guangzhu who was playing in his first “senior” international tournament. Although he faced stiff resistance from Joel Koh Hia Wei in the third singles, Guangzu completed his team’s rout with a 21-19, 21-13 win.
China team manager Ding Ke praised Guangzu’s performance in his senior debut.
“Guangzu gave a good account of himself in his first tournament at this level. He was a bit nervous at the beginning but got himself adjusted to the environment to give us the fifth point.
“It will boost his confidence. I am happy with his play. He is one of our up and coming stars,” said Ding. – BADMINTON ASIA
RESULTS (Feb 7)
China beat Singapore 5-0
MS1: Shi Yuqi beat Ryan Ng Zin Rei 21-16, 21-13
MD1: He Jiting-Tan Qiang beat Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Terry Hee Yong Kai 21-16, 21-17
MS2: Qiao Bin beat Muhammad Elaf Wei Tan 21-10, 21-6
MD2: Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong beat Lee Jian Liang-Jason Wong Guang Liang 21-12, 21-12
Lu Guangzu beat Joel Koh Jia Wei 21-19, 21-13