BEIJING: Bob Malaythong and Howard Bach made history on Tuesday when they became the first players from the United States to reach the last eight of the Olympic badminton competition.

The doubles duo, unseeded and ranked just 20 in the world, defeated the South African pair of Chris and Roelof Dednam 21-10, 21-16 to storm into the quarterfinals in its first match at these Games.

Chinese cruise

Meanwhile China’s Lin Dan and his teammates stormed into the quarterfinals with Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei hot on their heels.

China’s World No. 1 Lin beat South Korea’s Park Sung-Hwan in straight sets while Bao Chunlai and Chen Jin also clinched quarterfinals places.

Lee’s warning

But second seed Lee, gunning for his country’s first Olympic gold in any sport, warned his best badminton was yet to come after cruising past unfancied Kestutis Navickas from Lithuania.

“Maybe each match I can get better and better,” Lee said.

The Chinese charge, however, was upstaged by Britain’s Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson who stunned the home crowd with victory over second seeds Gao Ling and Zheng Bo in a three-game thriller in the mixed doubles.

The Athens silver medallists produced a gritty comeback against the Chinese after giving up a one game lead to win 21-16, 16-21, 21-19. — Agencies

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