ANAHEIM (California), Aug 18: World number ones Lin Dan and Zhang Ning both maintained their blistering form by opening with dominating second-round victories at the 2005 badminton world championships on Wednesday. Top seed Lin, who is bidding for his first world championship title, overpowered Kennevic Asuncion 15-1, 15-3 to reach the third round of the 2005 Anaheim worlds on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Lin put on a punishing display of power tennis, needing just 20 minutes to win his men’s singles match at the Arrowhead Pond arena. Reigning world and Olympic champ Zhang looked equally impressive in her first women’s singles match as she crushed Taiwan’s Huang Chia-Hsin 11-6, 11-2. Both top seeds received byes through the first round.
This year’s mens worlds field is wide open with high seeds Lin, Kenneth Jonassen, Peter Gade, Lee Chong Wei and Olympic champ Taufik Hidayat all a threat for the title.
The 2003 world champion Xia Xuanze, of China, is not in Anaheim to defend his title.
Sato won his second-round match, rallying to beat Sweden’s Rasmus Wengberg 15-17, 15-7, 15-3.
Lin suffered a shock first round exit in the Athens Olympics but helped make up for it by maintaining his world number one status and winning five tournaments in the past year, including the German Open and the Denmark Open.
On a day when almost all the men’s top seeds were in action, number two seed Jonassen, of Denmark, also advanced by crushing Singapore’s Kendrick Lee Yen Hui 15-2, 15-2.
Other seeds to reach the third round on Wednesday included No 7 Chen Hong of China, ninth seeded Ng Wei of Hong Kong, Gade and fifth seed Lee of Malaysia.
The reigning Olympic and world champion Zhang was never in trouble against Taiwan’s Huang in their 20-minute match.
The 30-year-old Zhang advances to the next round where she will face Hong Kong’s Yip Pui-yin who battled back to upset 11th seeded Kanako Yonekura, of Japan, 8-11, 13-12, 11-9. Zhang and Yip will be meeting for the first time.
Zhang is seeking to become the fifth world champion from China in the past 10 years.
Zhang sees her main rival in Anaheim as teammate and Chinese rising star Xie Xingfang, who also advanced Wednesday by dominating Larisa Griga 13-12, 11-2.
Men’s: Lin Dan (China) bt Kennevic Asuncion (Philippines) 15-1 15-3; Shoji Sato (Japan) bt Rasmus Wengberg (Sweden) 15-17 15-7 15-3; Muhd Hafiz Hashim (Malaysia) w/o Olivier Fossy (France); Hyun II Lee (South Korea) bt Ville Lang (Finland) 15-2 15-11; Peter Gade (Denmark) bt Tien Minh Nguyen (Vietnam) 15-4 15-6; Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Indonesia) bt Niels Christian Kaldau (Denmark) 9-15 15-9 15-4; Chen Hong (China) bt Poompat Sapkulchananart (Thailand) 15-9 14-17 15-12; Ng Wei (Hong Kong) bt Andrew Dabeka (Canada) 15-9 15-7; Bjorn Joppien (Germany) bt Juergen Koch (Austria) 15-5 15-9; Chong Wei Lee (Malaysia) bt Martyn Lewis (Wales) 15-1 15-4; Choong Hann Wong (Malaysia) bt Liao Sheng-Shiun (Taipei) 15-4 15-0; Bao Chunlai (China) bt Hariyanto Agus (Hong Kong) 15-7 15-4; Boonsak Ponsana (Thailand) bt Hugi Heimersson (Sweden) 15-2 15-4; Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia) bt Eric Pang (Netherlands) 15-5 15-6; Aamir Ghaffar (England) bt Shon Seung-mo (South Korea) 15-1 15-7; Kenneth Jonassen (Denmark) bt Yen Hui Kendrick Lee (Singapore) 15-2 15-2
WOMEN: Zhang Ning (China) bt Huang Chia-hsin (Taipei) 11-6 11-2; Yip Pui-yin (Hong Kong) bt Kanako Yonekura (Japan) 8-11 13-12 11-9; Yao Jie (Netherlands) bt Charmaine Reid (Canada) 11-1 11-6; Kaori Mori (Japan) bt Kati Tolmoff (Estonia) 11-2 11-3; Pi Hongyan (France) bt Elena Nozdran (Ukraine) 11-6 11-0; Li Li (Singapore) bt Mudukasan Sutheaswari (Malaysia) 11-6 11-3; Xu Huaiwen (Germany) bt Nathalie Descamps (Belgium) 11-2 11-4; Salakjit Ponsana (Thailand) bt Ella Karachkova (Russia) 11-4 11-6; Cheng Shao-chieh (Taipei) bt Mew Choo Wong (Malaysia) 7-11 13-12 11-3; Juliane Schenk (Germany) bt Shannon Pohl (USA) 11-2 11-0; Eriko Hirose (Japan) bt Agnese Allegrini (Italy) 11-4 11-3; Wang Chen (Hong Kong) bt Sara Persson (Sweden) 11-0 11-1; Rebecca Bellingham (New Zealand) bt Aparna Popat (India) 9-11 11-8 11-9; Tracey Hallam (England) bt Anna Rice (Canada) 13-10 11-3; Mia Audina (Netherlands) bt Maja Kersnik (Slovenia) 11-0 11-2; Xie Xingfang (China) bt Larisa Griga (Ukraine) 13-12 11-2.—Agencies