China ease to Badminton semifinals at Asiad
Guangzhou, November 13 – Defending Badminton champions China eased into both the women’s and men’s team semifinals at the Guangzhou Asian Games here on Saturday.
The men’s team breezed past Hong Kong, China 3-0 to set up a semifinal clash with Indonesia who beat Chinese Taipei 3-0.
Olympic and three-time world champion Lin Dan pushed asided Hu Yun 21-15, 21-18 before newly-crowned world champion Chen Jin made it 2-0 by beating Chan Yan Kit, 21-18, 21-8. Chen Long sealed the deal with a 21-13, 21-7 win over Wong Wing Ki Vincent.
“My coach told me to go all out from the very beginning because you need some time to get into the right form. All the men’s teams are strong. If the bad luck strikes, you will lose,” said Lin. “As for my match, I think Hu Yun is strong. He used to be a Chinese national team player who entered the national team even earlier than me.”
As if echoing Lin’s view, world number one Lee Chong Wei lost Malaysia’s first singles and can’t help but watched his team fell to Thailand 3-2 in what was the first upset in Tianhe stadium.
Lee could not find a way to get past Boonsak Ponsana before he lost 21-9, 10-21, 19-21. Despite men’s doubles defending champions Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong and Hafiz Bin Hashim pulled two points back for Malaysia, Thailand eventually made it to the next round through victories from Maneepong Jongjit/Bodin Isara and S. Avihingsanon.
“I hadn’t expected the match against Thailand to be so tough,” said Daren Liew after his 21-16, 21-16 defeat by S. Avihingsanon in the last match.
In the semifinals, Thailand square off against South Korea who beat Japan 3-1 on Saturday night.
In the women’s competition, China received a walkover from Macao, China in the quarterfinals. The latter withdrew from the competition because they were found that several of their badminton players did not comply with the Olympic Council of Asia regulations that require an athlete representing an NOC to meet the minimum three-year residency status.
In the semifinals, China meet South Korea who sailed past Malaysia 3-0. The defending champions will seek to revenge their Uber Cup final loss in May when China’s dream to lift the title for the seventh time running was dashed with a 3-1 defeat by South Korea.
“The walkover is actually not a good thing for us because we will have to face a very strong opponent without any warm-up,” said Chinese Deputy Head Coach Tian Bingyi.
Indonesia romped to a 3-0 win over Chinese Taipei, and Thailand beat Japan 3-1.
Cheng Shao Chieh lost to Adriyanti Firdasari 21-14, 11-21, 11-21 in the first singles before world top women’s doubles Cheng Wen Hsing/Chieh Yu Chin were stunned by Greysia Polii/Meiliana Jauhari 16-21, 21-16, 12-21.