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Top guns advance

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Category: Badminton News Published: 21 September 2006
Written by Hits: 616
Defending champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia fought back from a game down to overcome Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania 19-21, 21-15, 21-10 and book his place in the last 16 of the world championships on Wednesday.

Hidayat, who has recently recovered from injury and is unseeded, was put under heavy pressure by Navickas and went down in the opening game after sending an overhead smash into the net.

Top seed and world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia also made it through into the next round with a 21-18, 21-14 win over Germany's Bjoern Joppien in his first match of the competition.

Lee, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, said he would need to improve if he was to add the world crown to his medal collection. "Everyone tells me that the top seeds don't often win at the worlds and I made a lot of mistakes out there today," he said. "Maybe I felt the pressure and I will have to get a lot better if I'm to win this."

Second seed Lin Dan of China also found no trouble in disposing of Canadian Bobby Milroy 21-16, 21-17, a deceptive scoreline as the 22-year-old Lin intentionally played a longer match so that he could have more time to get used to the court.|

"He is not so strong that I should use this chance to get myself familiar with the court," Lin said.

China's world No. 3 Chen Jin saw off Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 21-16, 21-13, while compatriot Bao Chunlai made the most of his superior racket speed to book a place in the last 16 with a 21-13, 21-14 victory over Juergen Koch of Austria.

In the women's singles competition, top seed Zhang Ning, who was awarded a first-round bye, breezed past Xing Aiying of Singapore 21-8, 21-8 to reach the third round.

"The first match is always a tough one for every player, especially given some air turbulence around the court, I think my performance is Ok," she said.

The 31-year-old reigning Olympic titlist manifested a strong desire to play.

"Finally I can play the match now, I have been working out for five days, I am afraid too much training will wear away my forms," she said.

The second seed Xu Huaiwen from Germany also progressed to the final 16 with a 21-19, 21-18 win over Spanish player Yoana Martinez.

The reigning champion Xie Xingfang from China, seeded third, reached the third round as she took 25 minutes to beat Rachel van Cutsen of the Netherlands 21-13, 21-16.

(source: ChinaDaily)

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