TOKYO: She had to wait an extra two hours for her match to start on Tuesday (Jul 27) but Singapore badminton player Yeo Jia Min was cool, calm and composed when she took to the court.
The Olympic debutant beat Mexico’s Haramara Gaitan 21-7, 21-10 in the women’s singles at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.
“I've been really excited and looking forward to my first match. Others have played their matches already and … I was just getting excited and nervous,” she told reporters.
“I'm happy that I was able to kind of get used to the hall pretty fast, and to be able to play like how I thought I would.”
Up against an opponent that she had never faced, Yeo, who is ranked 30th in the world, got off to a strong start against the 92nd-ranked Gaitan, and led 11-4 at the interval.
She then wrapped up the set in 12 minutes.
The Singaporean took that momentum into the next game, leading 11-4 at the interval, before clinching victory.
“I was able to get into the rhythm and form quite fast from the start so I just kept it on and she didn’t quite manage to give me enough pressure so I still felt okay throughout the match,” said Yeo.
Yeo’s match had been pushed back as the ones before went on longer than expected.
Gaitan had already played one match in the competition, going down 14-21, 9-21 to South Korea’s Kim Ga-eun.
Yeo will next face Kim on Wednesday. The Singaporean will progress to the next round should she beat the South Korean, who is 18th in the world.
When asked if the lack of rest between her game against Gaitan and Wednesday’s game will be an issue, Yeo answered simply.
“I just want to play so I don't think it will affect me.”
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