Story by Jan Lin and Ethan Lou/Red Sports. Photos by Tan Jon Han/Red Sports
Singapore’s Huang Chao delivers a smash to Sairaneeth Bhamidipati of India in their first round encounter. The Singapore shuttler scored an upset by defeating the number two seed 21-12 18-21 21-17. (Photo 1 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
Singapore Indoor Stadium, Sunday, August 15, 2010 — Singapore’s Huang Chao upset number two seed Sairaneeth Bhamidipati of India 21-12, 18-21, 21-17 in the Youth Olympic Games badminton tournament today. Sairaneeth was a semi-finalist at the 2010 World Junior Championships.
Huang Chao dominated this Group H tie in the first game to register an impressive 21-12 win, while the agile Indian national junior champion made a comeback in the second game with a 21-18 victory.
The tiebreaker was fiercely contested with both boys digging deep into their reserves for the win. Huang increased the level of aggression in his game to avoid being caught flat-footed in the long rallies that the lanky Sairaneeth was drawing him into.
Besides being backed by a vocal home crowd, the China-born shuttler has played at the Singapore Badminton Open in this stadium just two months ago, and definitely appeared to be in better control of the draft situation.
18-year-old Huang seized upon home-court advantage to seal the momentous victory by a narrow margin of 21-17 in the rubber set and will now face Peruvian shuttler Mario Cuba tomorrow, 12:10pm, to double his quarter-final’s chances.
Bhamidipati will play New Zealand’s Asher Richardson on the same day at 10:10am. The winner of the group will take on the winner of Group G, currently spearheaded by Malaysia’s Loh Wei Sheng, in the quarter-finals on Tuesday evening.
Huang Chao showing no signs of nerves as he makes his entrance into the Indoor Stadium. (Photo 2 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
Sairaneeth Bhamidipati stares into space as Huang Chao celebrates another point. The Indian shuttler had no answer to Huang Chao’s aggressive playing style early in the game. (Photo 3 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
Huang Chao inspects the broken strings on his racket after delivering a series of smashes in the previous point. (Photo 4 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
The Singapore shuttler stretches to return a shot as Sairaneeth Bhamidipati started to pick up his game. The Indian shuttler went on to take the second set, setting the stage for the third and final set. (Photo 5 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
The coaching staff of Team Singapore watches on anxiously as the match went into a tiebreaker. (Photo 6 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
Huang Chao celebrates after overcoming a late comeback by Sairaneeth to secure an important victory. The win leaves the Singapore shuttler in a good position to progress into the quarter-finals. (Photo 7 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
The home crowd erupts in jubilation following the win. (Photo 8 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
Also in the stands was Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivan Balakrishnan (left). (Photo 9 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
“The supporters really inspired me.” Huang Chao looks to the stands and smiles when asked what he thought about the home crowd support during his match. (Photo 9 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)