‘Clean sheet’ - Why Hong Kong’s Yip Pui-yin wore white in her final women’s singles match in Rio
Badminton ace, who reached the quarter-finals at the London Games, loses her second match in her group but vows to be stronger in Tokyo in four years’ time
Yip Pui-yin wore white in her defeat by Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon at the Olympics women’s singles badminton competition, declaring that she is as clean as a sheet of paper and she is ready to write a new chapter in her career.
The 29-year-old was barely able to speak after her second group L loss and with tears rolling down her cheeks, she vowed defiantly to be at the Tokyo Olympics in four years’ time and show what she can do.
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“When I lost my first match, I wore yellow but today I wore white,” said Yip, who lost 2-1 to Estonia’s Kati Tolmoff in her first match. “Whether I wear yellow or white doesn’t decide if I win or lose, I just wanted to tell myself that I am like a new sheet of paper.
“It’s time to start anew. I will take in everything I learned, what the coaches tell me what I learn from other players and what I learn in life and I will start to draw new things.
“Hopefully when I get to Tokyo it will be a great picture that I have drawn” said Yip, who reached the quarter-finals of the women’s singles at the 2012 London Olympics, was beaten 21-18, 21-12 by 2013 world champion Ratchanok, with the Thai enjoyed vocal support from a small but colourful group of Thailand fans wearing traditional costumes.
“I didn’t play as well as I could have, I know that, so I’m very disappointed to have lost both my matches,” said Yip. “But I’m not giving up and I’m determined to improve from here.”
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Men’s singles player Angus Ng Ka-long, meanwhile, overcame a partisan crowd at RioCentro Pavilioni 4 to defeat Portugal’s Pedro Martin 21-17, 21-18 to emerge from his group and enter the play-off rounds.
Brazilian fans have taken to players from Portugal because of their close historical links but Ng’s class was too much for his gutsy opponent.
Ng is the first Hong Kong singles player to qualify from the preliminary rounds and in the round of 16 will face South Korea’s Son Wan-ho , who has a 2-0 win record over the his opponent.
“I’m glad I had a tough match today because I was able to use all of my tactics and techniques,” said Ng. “Son is a very good player and it will be a tough match for me because I’ve never beaten him before.”