(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Ben Lane/ Sean Vendy leave empty-handed and top seeds rocked
Date: 7/27/2021 3:36 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma

Ben Lane/ Sean Vendy failed to bring their best game on the biggest stage. Contesting in their first Olympics, they could not win a game in three matches. Nevertheless, the pair from Great Britain put up a good fight against some of the best in the world. 

Following a close defeat to Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/ Chirag Shetty (27-25 in the third game), Lee Yang/ Wang Chi-Lin rose to the occasion and made it past the group stage by winning their next two matches. They topped Group A, rightly dubbed the “Group of Death”, by defeating the top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/ Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo for the first time in four encounters. 

It was a fast-paced match marked by short rallies and flat exchanges. Lee/ Wang gained an upper hand in the attack, especially during the crucial moments. 

- We had no pressure and so we played better than yesterday. We lost the first match as we were playing too defensively, so we tried to enjoy the match today and get on the attack. It was our best performance in this competition so far, Wang beamed. 

This made all the difference today, as they had never taken a game off the Minions before. The clash was over in just 49 minutes: 21-18, 15-21, 21-17. 

- Today, we started slow. I think they played well because they needed a win to pass the group stage. We always try our best in every match but they played better. They are quite fast and they didn’t make many mistakes today, Gideon explained.

It’s all in the details 

If the Chinese Taipei pair had lost today, they would have to hope that Lane/ Vendy beat the Indian duo later in the day. As a matter of fact, that was not to be. They lost to Rankireddy/ Shetty in straight games: 21-17, 21-19. 

- We knew the moment Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin won, we didn't stand a chance. Unfortunately, even after winning two matches in the group, we don't go through. But that is badminton and we have to live with it, Shetty was quite sad. 

- Since it was going to be our last game in the Olympics, we weren't under pressure. We kept it simple, Rankireddy continued. 

Disappointed but proud 

However, both the young pairs can take away many important lessons as they hope to keep improving in the future. 

- We were very proud and emotional on being selected to represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics, Lane and Vendy echoed in an exclusive interview with Badminton Europe. 

- I feel that we have learnt so much from this badminton experience and there are lot of positives to take home, Rankireddy said. 

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