Badminton: New National Champions in Insyirah and Vega; Women’s Doubles sees repeat winners

National Open provides important competition experience for local shuttlers unable to compete overseas over the past year due to COVID-19

Women's Singles Champion Nur Insyirah Khan. PHOTO: TIM NG, SPORTPLUS.SG


11 January 2021, Singapore - The week-long Singapore Sports Hub National Open Championships 2022 held at the OCBC Arena concluded last Sunday, with seven different shuttlers clinching a winners’ medal across five events.


Women’s Singles


In the Women’s Singles, world-ranked 477 Insyirah bested Lim Ming Hui 16-21, 21-11, 21-14 in the final to emerge as champion. She was fueled by a desire to not leave empty handed in this edition of the championships, having been knocked out at the semi-finals stage of the previous two editions.


Despite losing the first set, Insyriah managed to keep her composure and play more aggressively to come from behind to win the event 2-1.


The Ngee Ann Polytechnic student said:” At the start, I was a bit unclear of my gameplan…but then I tried to keep my composure and focus at every point.”


Men’s Singles

Men's Singles Champion Vega Vio Nirwanda. PHOTO: TIM NG, SPORTPLUS.SG


Over in the Men’s Singles competition, Vega Vio Nirwanda, a sparring partner with the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA), proved too strong for top seed Joel Koh, who was defeated 21-3, 21-14. It was not the usual performance from Joel, who felt that he played well in the week leading up to the day.

Men's Singles Runner-up Joel Koh. PHOTO: TIM NG, SPORTPLUS.SG


The full-time athlete said: “Only today (when) my performance (was) not up to the standard. After yesterday’s match, my focus and physical (capacity) dropped and my opponent was more ready.”


Men’s Doubles

Men's doubles winners Albert Saputra (left) and Jason Wong. PHOTO: TIM NG, SPORTPLUS.SG


Jason Wong and Albert Saputra overcame Alistaire Chua and Sng Ming Wei 21-7, 21-13 in the Men’s Doubles event. Having competed together since young, Jason, an alumnus of the Singapore Sports School, was well aware of his opponent’s capabilities on the court. He attributed the convincing win to their intense training schedule.


“Me and my partner have been training every day for the past whole month in preparation for this competition.”


Women’s Doubles


Crystal Wong and Jin Yu Jia won their second women’s Doubles National title together after defeating Bernice Lim and Lim Ming Hui 21-8, 21-12. The duo have been doubles partners for two years but were unable to participate in many competitions due to COVID-19.


Crystal, who is world rank No. 220 with her partner Yu Jia, said:” I’m very happy that we won today and it’s been a long time since we last competed so we also can have a feel of how the competition atmosphere will be like.”

Women's doubles champions Jin Yu Jia (left) and Crystal Wong. PHOTO: TIM NG, SPORTPLUS.SG


Crystal and Yu Jia, along with their national teammates Insyirah, Ming Hui and Bernice Lim will feature in the upcoming Yonex Estonian International 2022 from 13 - 16 January.


Mixed Doubles

Mixed doubles final featuring (from Left to Right) Crystal Wong, Wesley Koh, Bernice Lim, Jason Wong. PHOTO: TIM NG, SPORTPLUS.SG


Lastly, the Mixed Doubles’ event saw Jason Wong and Bernice Lim take the lead in the first set, winning 23-21 at the expense of their opponents Wesley Koh and Crystal Wong.


However, Wesley and Crystal regrouped to win 21-17 and eventually took home the Mixed doubles’ title taking the third set 21-14.


This year’s edition of the National Open Championships was an important competition for the local shuttlers, as many of them had not been participating in competitions due to COVID-19 restrictions.


Alan Ow, CEO of SBA said:” Being able to pull off the National Open this year, I think (it) is not just for SBA, but more (for) the athletes to show the hard work over the past couple of years training behind closed doors.”


As there were no spectators allowed at the event, live streaming of all matches online was introduced this year, garnering around a thousand sign-ups to do so.


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