It was a virtual shootout between the Hong Kong China duo and Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich. Both pairs had a win and a loss, and the outcome of their clash would decide the quarterfinalists along with group leaders Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping. The first two games went to extra points, before Tang and Tse pulled ahead of the Germans at the end, claiming victory in 67 minutes, 22-20 20-22 21-16.
It was relief for Tang and Tse, who haven’t found form in recent times, having crashed out in the second round of both the YONEX Thailand Open and the TOYOTA Thailand Open in January.
“We are very happy. This is my first Olympics and to get into the top eight is very exciting,” said Tang, while his partner joked that it was “not fair”.
“It is not fair. I tried many times to get into the top eight and he does it on his first attempt (laughs). This is my third Olympics. But I am very happy,” said Tse Ying Suet.
“I am lucky to have Tang as my teammate because he was attacking well and able to defend their smashes and this was a huge relief for me.”
The Germans struggled to come to terms with their defeat.
“It was a good match. We both were on the same level. I think we are happy with our performance but disappointed that we are out. It was a big opportunity to win it and get to the quarterfinals,” said Lamsfuss.
“We had a great comeback to win the second game but unfortunately not in the third.”
Ellis/Smith on a Roll
Meanwhile, Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith continued to enjoy a dream event, with their third win in three matches to top Group B. The duo from Great Britain stunned third seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-12 21-19.
“The win is up there. We haven’t beaten them before. We’ve lost to them a few times. So for us to do it on this stage is very important and it makes a big difference going forward. We knew after yesterday that this was a freebie game and that took the pressure off and it was ours to take and theirs to lose and I kept reminding myself of that,” said Lauren Smith.