As one who has been following Singapore Badminton closely, I am delighted with our Women's Team performance at the current Doha Asian Games 2006. Drawn against seemingly stronger opponents in the team event, Singapore had a close call but managed to pip Hong Kong to enter the Women's Team Semi-final on count-back as follows: Singapore beat Thailand 4-1 (Thus avenging our defeat in the Manila SEA Games) 1. Li Li b Sortja 21-19, 21-12 2. Xing Aiying b Monthila 21-13, 21-19 3. Jiang Yanmei b Salakjit 21-8, 14-21, 21-18 (a surprise and decisive win!) 4. Li Yujia/Sari Shinta Mulia b Kunchal/Duanganong 21-19, 12-21, 21-17 (another surprise win, as Li was not paired with regular partner Jiang) 5. Jiang Yanmei/Vanessa Neo lost to Saralee/Satinee 6-21, 7-21 Singapore lost to Hong Kong 2-3 1. Li Li lost to Wang Chen #3, 12-21, 19-21 2. Xing Aiying lost to Yip Pui Yin #7, 11-21, 11-21 (even Zhang Ning #1 lost to Yip 19-21, 19-21 during the individual QF) 3. Jiang Yanmei b Assunta Ng 21-14, 21-11 4. Li Yujia/Sari b Yip Pui Yin/Chau Hoi Wah 21-18, 21-14 5. Jiang/Frances Liu lost to Wang Chen/Louisa Koon 11-21, 18-21 Hong Kong lost to Thailand 2-3. Many thanks to Thailand, in the end, based on the number of matches won and lost, Singapore emerged on top to enter the semi-final: 1. Singapore (Won 6, Lost 4) 2. Hong Kong (5 & 5) 3. Thailand (4 & 6) With this result, Singapore secured the team Bronze Medal, its first in badminton in the Asian Games. Unfortunately, in the SF, Japan proved too strong for us, although it had a hard battle with South Korea before winning 3-2 for a place in the SF. Results of Singapore's SF match with Japan (0-3): 1. Li Li lost to Mori Kaori 19-21, 11-21 2. Jiang Yanmei/Li Yujia lost to Ogura Kumiko/Shiota Reiko 21-23, 14-21 3. Xing Aiying lost to Hirose Eriko 14-21, 21-12, 18-21 Suffice to say that Jiang Yanmei, our doubles specialist, won valuable points for Singapore playing at third singles although she lost her doubles matches with different partners, a strategy to split the regular partnership which worked well for Singapore. New Discovery But, Singapore has now rediscovered a 'new' gem in Xing Aiying, who performed better and better as the team events, followed by the individual competition progressed. Singaporeans who saw her live in action on TV yesterday must be proud of the way she almost defeated Korean, Hwang Hye Yeon in the QF. A brief description of this momentus match will come later. Aiying gave higher ranked Hirose Eriko #5 a fright in the team event and almost won the decider and match as shown above. (On the other hand Saina Nehwal of India lost to Eriko 23-25, 7-21 during the individual competition. Xing had beaten Saina in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. But Eriko eventually lost to Xie Xingfang #2, 7-21, 24-22, 16-21, but certainly not disgraced. Xing Aiying's results during her individual campaign: R1: beat Shrestha Sumin (NEP) 21-1, 21-6 (14m). R2. beat Mori Kaori (JPN) 21-15, 21-12 (30m) (Li Li lost to Mori in the Team event) QF: lost to Hwang Hye Yeon (KOR) 21-14, 15-21, 18-21 (65m) In the decisive final game against Hwang, the line judge made a grave error by calling Xing's baseline shot "out". The TV replay clearly showed it to be on the line. At that time the score was close (15-17, I think) but because of this error Hwang went on to score 18 points, when Xing should get 16 and Hwang remained at 17 - a net difference of 2 points! Certainly a costly error by the line judge which must have deprived Xing of a possible win.) So Xing lost a good chance of appearing in the SF and a possible AG medal! Li Li did not do too badly either. In the individual singles R1, she beat Cheng Shao Chieh (TPE) 21-11, 18-21, 21-15 (52m) but succumbed again to Team event opponent, Wang Chen (HKG), 13-21, 20-22 (34m), a slight improvement over her earlier loss at 12-21, 19-21 (30m). Watch out for Xing Aiying, who now has a new coach to guide her.