Teen sensation Ratchanok Intanon put up a gutsy fight against world No 2 Wang Xin of China before losing to the more experienced opponent 1-2 games in the Olympics badminton women's singles quarter-finals at the Wembly Arena yesterday.
The 17-year-old former junior World champion staged a brilliant all court game to take the first game from the 2010 World Championship silver medallist 21-17. She even built a huge lead at 5-0 in the following game before the 26-year-old opponent started a comeback with solid and accurate game.
Both were neck-and-neck until at 18 all where the Chinese experience started to benefit her. The Thai teenager lost her cool and made three straight errors to drop the game 18-21 and she never appeared to recover afterwards.
During the break at 7-11, Ratchanok called for a trainer to re-tape her right ankle. She lost steams and finally went down 14-21 in the match.
Despite the loss, she is still the first Thai female player to reach the Olympics women’s singles quarter-finals. No Thais survived the quarter-finals in the London Games. Earlier countrymen Bodin Isara and Maneepong Jongjit also lost the men’s doubles quarter-finals earlier, a day after the defeat of Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam in the mixed doubles quarter-finals.