Sports\Team China

Chinese teen stuns top seed Yamaguchi

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-26 07:20

Reigning junior champion makes quick work of Japan's world No 2

GLASGOW - China's Chen Yufei announced herself as a new star of international badminton on Thursday when she knocked out Japan's top seed Akane Yamaguchi in the third round of the world championships.

The 19-year-old reigning world junior champion stunned the Japanese favorite with a 21-18, 21-19 victory and now meets Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon in the quarterfinals.

In the second game, Chen clawed her way back after trailing 14-11, winning six points in a row and then proclaimed it the greatest result of her career.

"It was one of my goals this year to beat Akane and now I have achieved it. I am very excited and so happy," she said.

"In the middle of the second game I started to make some mistakes. But then I got myself together. I came to these championships with several goals; this was the biggest one.

"Now I am just going to take it day by day. I am really looking forward to the quarterfinal."

Yamaguchi, the world No 2, was devastated.

"I am very sad," she said. "I made too many errors, but my opponent played very well."

South Korean second seed Sung Ji Hyun also made a shocking exit, losing to India's Saina Nehwal 21-19, 21-15.

Newhal had surgery on her knee after a disappointing Olympic Games in Rio last year and was hobbled for most of last year.

"But now I'm trying to forget about pain," she said. "Today was extremely tough. I have beaten her in the past, but she has been so consistent this year. I am absolutely delighted to get through to the quarterfinals."

In the men's singles, top seed Son Wan-ho needed three games to overcome Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and set up a quarterfinal against India's Kidambi Srikanth.

The world No 1 from South Korea was on court for over an hour before going through 21-14, 17-21, 21-13.

"It was a very tough game," he said. "But I am already looking forward to tomorrow's match. The win has helped make me more confident after my recent injury because my season so far has been about recovery."

Super Dan cruises

Meanwhile, China's Lin Dan is doing it the hard way in his bid for a sixth men's singles victory.

For the second straight day the 33-year-old had to come from behind, spending a grueling 81 minutes on court before overcoming England's Rajiv Ouseph 14-21, 21-17, 21-16.

"It was tough," admitted Dan, who won the last of his five titles in 2013.

"He started so quickly and it took a while for me to get a hold of the situation.

"I also started slowly yesterday, but I am just doing my best. I think I am improving in each round."

Viktor Axelsen, the top European hope, cruised into the quarterfinals with a 21-13, 21-18 victory over Hong Kong's Ng Ka Long.

India's Pusarla Sindhu won the longest match of the championships so far. The Indian fourth seed beat Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan Yi 19-21, 23-21, 21-17 in one hour 27 minutes.

Agence France-presse

(China Daily 08/26/2017 page11)

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