Friday, October 11, 2013

Exhausted shuttlers limp out of East Asian Games

Hong Kong's exhausted badminton players bowed out limply from the East Asian Games yesterday, having expended all their energy to win a silver medal in the team event.

Playing his ninth game in four days, Wong Wing-ki went out in the individual quarter-finals when he was beaten by Kazumasa Sakai of Japan in three games after a gruelling 73-minute battle.

World No 11 Hu Yun retired in his first-round match against Jeon Hyeok-jin of South Korea. Two days ago, Hu beat Jeon in straight games in the team event.

Wong, the world No 12, had to play both singles and doubles in the team event as Hong Kong were only allowed to bring five players by the Hong Kong Olympic Committee.

"I have to pay high tribute for their achievement under such extremely difficult conditions," said head coach Tim He Yiming. "They were already very tired in the singles and there is nothing more I can ask from them."

To win their silver medal, Hong Kong had to play four teams in three days under the round-robin format. Each contest consisted of five matches.

The Hong Kong Olympic Committee said the men's team only had three players who reached the qualifying standard.

"There should be some flexibility as we were allowed to enter the team competition," said He.

In swimming, Hong Kong won two silvers through Stephanie Au Hoi-shun (50m backstroke) and Siobhan Haughey (200m individual medley).

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