Badminton World Championships: Hong Kong coach laments Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet’s ‘very close’ defeat – ‘it wasn’t their day’
- Mixed doubles duo Tang and Tse, aiming for their third worlds medal, contest close quarter-final with German pair who had beaten the holders
- Hongkongers lose a close final set which coach Tim He Yiming feels ‘could have gone either way’
Hong Kong’s Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet had their medal hopes dashed at the Badminton World Championships on Friday as they missed out on a semi-final place.
They lost to Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Lohau of Germany in their quarter-final in three games, ending the last remaining Hong Kong involvement in the tournament.
It was a repeat of last year’s worlds in Huelva, Spain when the same two pairs met at the same stage, with Tang and Tse easily beating the Germans in straight games to reach the last four.
But it was a different story in Tokyo. The first game went the way of the No 12-ranked Germans, by a 21-13 scoreline, before Tang and Tse, who won bronze in the 2018 and 2021 championships, won the second game by the same margin to set up a decider.
A tense final game was neck and neck before Lamsfuss and Lohau finally prevailed 21-19, setting up a clash against Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists.
The German pair will now be aiming for another upset win after also knocking out Thailand’s reigning world champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the previous round.
Hong Kong head coach Tim He Yiming felt sorry for his charges after such a narrow defeat, but he was not too disappointed.
“It was very close,” he said. “Tang and Tse put up a strong fight but it wasn’t their day. The first game was a bit unfortunate as the breeze was very strong, making it difficult for them to play on their side of the court. They worked hard to pull it back on level terms in the second and the decider could have gone either way.”
The defeat in the mixed doubles ended Hong Kong’s hopes in Tokyo, with the team now moving to Osaka for next week’s Japan Open, a Super 750 tournament in the second highest tier of the world tour.
Men’s singles star Angus Ng Ka-long may still be able to feature despite a thigh injury that forced him to withdraw during his third round match Loh Kean Yew of Singapore this week.
“Ng recovers quickly and we will have to monitor his progress in the next two to three days before making a decision,” said coach He.
Ng has drawn H.S. Prannoy of India in his first-round match while Lee Cheuk-yiu will meet Chou Tien-Chen again after losing to the Taiwan No 1 in the third round in Tokyo.
Tang and Tse, the fifth seeds, will take on Taiwanese pair Lee Jhe-Huei and Hsu Ya-Ching.