Tearful Ratchanok ends Olympic medal quest

Tearful Ratchanok ends Olympic medal quest

Thai badminton star falls to longtime Taiwanese rival and in quarter-finals

Ratchanok Intanon cries after losing to Tai Tzu-ying in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo on Friday. (Badminton Association of Thailand photo)
Ratchanok Intanon cries after losing to Tai Tzu-ying in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo on Friday. (Badminton Association of Thailand photo)

Shuttler Ratchanok Intanon ended her Tokyo Olympic campaign on Friday, with a three-set quarter-final loss to rival Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan, leaving no Thai contenders in the badminton competition.

Ratchanok, ranked sixth in the world, took the first set 21-14 and was leading in the second before the Taiwanese star came back to win 21-18. The world No.1 then clinched the decider 21-18.

Ratchanok could not hold back her tears of disappointment as her coach tried to comfort her after the match that lasted 67 minutes at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo.

It was her 16th defeat against 14 wins over Tai.

Followers on social media were quick to give Ratchanok moral support after seeing her display of emotion, with many saying she had lost the match but won the hearts of all Thais with her fighting spirit.

Ratchanok thanked all staff and Thais who had given her support throughout the competition, and admitted her opponent outplayed her when the match came down to the wire.

“She was more decisive in the final minutes,” Ratchanok said, adding that the momentum had shifted away from her from the middle of the second game, which she led 14-10 at one point.


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