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Thai players star in Bangkok as world badminton returns to action after 10 months

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Thai players enjoyed first-round wins on Tuesday, as the world’s top badminton players returned from a 10-month Covid-19 layoff at the US$1-million Yonex Thailand Open.

Mixed duo Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai recovered from a game down to beat Malaysian rivals, while Busanan Ongbamrungphan cruised to victory in the women’s singles.

The action kicked off a three-week badminton extravaganza at the Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, where the Thailand Open World Tour Super 1000 from January 12-17 is followed by the $1-million Toyota Thailand Open World Tour Super 1000 (January 19-24) and the $1.5-million HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 from January 27-31.

In Tuesday’s action-packed mixed doubles, top seeds Dechpol/Sapsiree tamed upstarts Hoo Pang Ron/Cheah Yee See of Malaysia in three hard-fought games, winning 18-21 21-16 21-15. The Thai world No 3 pairing grabbed a silver medal at the All-England in mid-March last year, the last tournament before world badminton shut down due to the pandemic.

In the women’s singles, world No 12 Busanan outclassed No 49 Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland 2-0 (21-16, 21-17). Two other Thai women failed at the first hurdle, however, with world No 28 Phittayaporn Chaiwan losing 21-19, 21-14 to No 17 Kim Ga Eun of South Korea, and Benyapa Aimsaard ousted 21-18, 26-24 by Taiwanese top-seed Tai Tzu Ying.

In the men’s doubles, world No 128 Nipitphon Phuangphuapet/Tanupat Viriyangkura lost to 5th seeds and world No 6 Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Indonesia) 17-21, 21-16, 22-20. The highly anticipated clash between world No 43 Bodin Isara/Maneepong Jongjit and England’s world No 22 Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge was due later the same day.

In the women’s doubles, world 34 Chayanit Chaladchalam/Phataimas Muenwong played a thriller against world No 31 Linda Efler/Isabel Herttrich before pulling off a convincing 21-14 25-23 win over the Germans.

In the men’s singles, world No 15 Kantaphon Wangcharoen stunned India’s world No 13 B Sai Praneeth 21-16 21-10, while world No 29 Kunlavut Vitidsarn fought furiously to beat No 80 Luis Enrique Penalver of Spain 21-12, 19-21, 21-16.

Published : January 12, 2021