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Gu Juan Shines In All-England Championships

Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei could not find their top form at the All-England Championships. (Photo: SSC)

Team Singapore’s shuttlers had mixed results at the recent All-England Championships in Birmingham, with Gu Juan shinning in the women’s singles while more fancied team mates did not progress as far as they were expected to in other events.

Gu cleared the tournament’s qualifying stage and outdid herself when she came from a set down to beat Hong Kong's Chan Tsz Ka 8-21, 21-10, 21-18. Ranked just 46th in the world, she then created a big upset by defeating world No. 8 Bae Youn Joo of South Korea 21-16, 12-21, 21-15.

This win earned her a much-coveted place in the quarter-finals. Although she eventually lost to Bulgaria's world No. 14 Petya Nedelcheva, she did well enough to impress coaches and opponents and should be a name to watch out for in the future. Significantly, Gu became the first Singapore woman to go so far in the All-England tournament since Zarinah Abdullah progressed to the quarter finals way back in 1994.

In other results, Chayut Triyachart and Yao Lei lost early in the mixed doubles. Chayut and Hendri Saputra also did not progress far in the men's doubles. Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao (pictured), who were seeded eighth in the women’s doubles, could not find their top form as well.