Badminton: China rolls through Spain, clinches quarter-final spot

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Kunshan (China)—Wang Shixian and the Chinese women’s team steamrolled through Spain on Tuesday night at the Uber Cup in China, dispatching the top ranked player and securing a quarter-final berth to boot. Spain struggled out of the gate with the tournament favourites, with world number number one Carolina Marin falling in a three-game tussle against sixth ranked Wang Shixian.
Marin managed to keep Wang just at arm’s reach in the first set before ultimately falling in the next two games in an air tight 19-21, 21-18, 21-19 loss that clocked in at nearly 90 minutes.
Following Marin’s loss, the Chinese pummelled the Spaniards, with Sun Yu and world number four Wang Yihan recording straight set wins in a half-hour to help complete the 5-0 rout.
In afternoon play, Lee Chong Wei’s Malaysian squad survived a nail-biting showdown with Asian rivals South Korea in the Thomas Cup.
The world number three led the charge as Malaysia edged out South Korea 3-2 at the world team championship in Kunshan to finish as the top seed from their grouping ahead of the quarter-finals later this week.
The day did not start off promisingly for the Koreans with world number three Lee pushing past ninth ranked Son Wan-Ho in straight sets.
The Koreans were able to rally with doubles squads Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong, and Kim Gi-jung and Kim Sa-rang, prevailing in back-to-back wins.
But the Malaysians’ depth on the singles front won the day with Chong Wei Feng besting South Korea’s Jeon Hyeok-jin 21-16, 21-16.
“I’m glad because it’s been a while since I’ve played this well, I’m really satisfied,” said Chong Wei Feng following the match in comments posted by the Badminton World Federation.
“The important thing is we’ve now qualified for the quarter-finals as group winners. However, the mission is far from over.” The five-time Thomas Cup champs are aiming to break their 24-year drought at the tournament.—AFP

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