Hard-Fought, Tough Losses for Timothy Lam, Phillip and Ryan Chew on Day 3 of Group Play at Tokyo 2020

Photo Credit: BadmintonPhoto
Photo Credit: BadmintonPhoto

On the fourth day of Tokyo 2020 group play at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Phillip and Ryan Chew faced Japan’s Kamura Takeshi and Sonoda Keigo in men’s doubles while Timothy Lam faced Korea’s Heo Kwang-hee in men’s singles.

It was another difficult match for the Chews as they played against one of Japan’s pairs that made it to the finals of the 2021 All England Open. The brothers fought hard in the first game, finding some success with crosscourt nets to set up smashing opportunities and it was clear they came into the day with a plan. Although they fought hard, they would fall 11-21 and 3-21 to the Japanese pair. 

With the stands mostly empty besides some press and others with limited access, the Games have a far different atmosphere for the players. “We’ve gone through this year with a couple [of] tournaments with no spectators,” Ryan explained. “Of course it’s a different environment and different feel (… ) when we’re out there, we’re giving it our all and trying to win and get the best game we can.” 

The pair have another match tomorrow, July 27 at 6 PM JST (5 AM EDT) against Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel, where they hope to pick up a win. “We’re going to go back and (… ) review this match,” Ryan said of the pair’s plan. “(… ) our first game we started off strong and kept up the pace. In the second game, we kind of fell behind a little bit and lost our momentum and that took a toll on the rest of our game, so we’re going to go back and review and hopefully be prepared for tomorrow’s match.” 

In men’s singles, Timothy Lam had a shaky start to begin the first game but slowly gained momentum as he was able to create opportunities in more consistent rallies. Although he lost the first game 10-21, he opened up the second game neck-and-neck with the Korean player as they exchanged flurries of smashes and nets. He attempted a late comeback but despite the valiant effort, he ultimately fell, 15-21. 

After the match when asked about his mindset going into the match, he said, “I think it’s the same mindset as when I played Kento. Obviously, I don’t have any pressure or expectations. My goal was to just play my best and play my game and not really think too much about the result.”

Regarding his entire Tokyo 2020 experience, Lam said “I think it’s a very good experience for my future and it’s definitely something I’ll remember forever.”

For the young players in the U.S. inspired and encouraged by his journey, he advised that they “Just dare to dream.”

“If you’re willing to take that step, just be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices,” he added. “You won’t be able to get both sides of the coin. So I feel that that’s very necessary in order to get to your goal regardless of whether it is badminton or not.”

Next up for the U.S. is men’s doubles pair Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew taking on Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel on July 27 at 6 PM JST (5 AM EDT). 

To watch NBC’s stream of matches, click here. For Day 3’s results, click here. For a look ahead at Day 4, click here

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Check out the Tokyo 2020 badminton men’s doubles draw here.