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Axelsen advances at worlds

August 02, 2018

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NANJING: Aya Ohori of Japan plays a shot against Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei during their women’s singles match at the World Badminton Championships on Wednesday.—AFP
NANJING: Aya Ohori of Japan plays a shot against Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei during their women’s singles match at the World Badminton Championships on Wednesday.—AFP

NANJING: Defending world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark beat Huang Yuxiang 21-17, 21-8 on Wednesday to advance to the round of 16 at the World Badminton Championships.

The match was level at 16-16 in the first game before play was suspended for roughly 10 minutes as organisers dealt with water that was dripping onto the court.

When play resumed on a different court, Axelsen won five of the next six points to clinch the game. He maintained this momentum into the second game, as he cruised to victory.

Two-time world champion Chen Long beat Thailand’s Phetpradab Khosit 21-16, 21-11 in a match that lasted 50 minutes. Chen started slowly as Khosit repeatedly attacked the front of the net, but Chen eventually pulled away for the win.

Chen will next face 14th-seeded Kenta Nishimoto.

In the final two matches of the night, young Chinese star Shi Yuqi defeated Rajiv Ouseph of England, while five-time world champion Lin Dan beat Sameer Verma of India.

Fifth-seeded Kidambi Srikanth beat Pablo Abian of Spain, while No. 6 seed Kento Momota continued to shine in his 21-8, 21-10 victory over Austria’s Luka Wraber. Momota will play Anders Antonsen of Den­mark in the round of 16.

In women’s singles, China’s top-ranked shuttler Chen Yufei edged Gregoria Tunjung of Indonesia 21-17, 22-20 in a closely-contested match.

Chen will next face Goh Jin Wei of Malaysia, who upset No. 14 seed Aya Ohori of Japan.

Second-seeded Akane Yam­aguchi and Nitchaon Jindapol also advanced.

Defending world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan defeated Canada’s Rachel Honderich 21-11, 21-9.

In men’s doubles, top-seeded Indonesians Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo advanced with a win over Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong of China. They will face 10th-seeded Vladamir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov in the next round.

In women’s doubles, top-seeded Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan defeated Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davle­tova 21-13, 21-14.

The win sets up a clash with fellow countrywomen Du Yue and Li Yinhui.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2018