Singapore Sportstar Spotlight: Badminton's Dynamic Duo Scores Historic Gold For SG
What is a game that two can play, and both can win? For many, it's love. For 27-year-old Terry Hee and 29-year-old Jessica Tan, it's love and badminton.
Since the start of their individual professional badminton careers, the mixed doubles pair - once ranked world No. 15 in 2017 - have come out on top in multiple competitions together by always having each other's backs on the court. That on-court chemistry led to the ultimate smash: they tied the knot in 2021, cementing their partnership and relationship.
But hang on, that's not all!
There's something major AF to celebrate this year: Not only did the pair make history by being the first Singaporean mixed-doubles pair to reach the finals at the Commonwealth Games, they won it!
On 8 Aug, the day before Singapore's 57th National Day, the couple beat England's world No. 10 duo Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith 21-16, 21-15 in the final at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre to clinch a historic Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
People, it's Singapore's first badminton gold medal in 20 years.
This year's National Day Parade theme is "Stronger Together, Majulah!" - who better to epitomise it than Terry and Jessica. Well done, guys, well done!
Character bio: Terry has been playing professionally since 2014, after going through the youth system at the Singapore Sports School's (SSS) badminton academy. He took a hiatus during national service from 2019 to 2021.
Most recently, at the Singapore Badminton Open, Terry and partner Loh Kean Hean (yes, elder brother of super shuttler Loh Kean Yew) made their way into the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles, after beating Junaidi Arif and Muhammad Haikal from Malaysia in a 21-9, 21-17 win.
On the other hand, Jessica (who also attended SSS) began her professional career in 2011. Despite multiple injuries and setbacks, she's come back stronger each time.
The couple has been playing together as a mixed doubles team since the start of their professional careers, clinching the top spot in various Badminton World Federation (BWF) International Challenges.
Achievement unlocked: The duo got hitched in October 2021, and in that same month, bagged their first gold as a married couple by winning the Czech Open. This win was all the more significant for them as their ranking had dropped to No. 788 due to Terry's hiatus during NS, Jessica's injury, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
They would go on to win their first BWF World Tour Super 500 title at the 2022 India Open, and a third title at the BWF World Tour Super 100 event in France for the Orleans Masters. ICYDK, that's three international titles in six months!
And as of May 2022, they've climbed to a world ranking of No. 44. Sibei awesome.
Level up: On 28 July, Terry and para-powerlifter Nur Aini binte Mohamad Yasli were Team Singapore's flagbearers at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Can you spot the pair in the IG video above?
Without a doubt, our Little Red Dot's dynamic duo continues to train hard, and have set their sights on Paris 2024, where they're hoping to net more medals. Gambatte!