BADMINTON / Saina bows out; Kuncoro stuns Lee
KUALA LUMPUR: Anup Sridhar continued with his devastating form to stun World No. 16 Muhd Hafiz B. Hashim of Malaysia and make it to the men’s singles quarterfinals of the World badminton championships on Thursday.
The Indian showed nerves of steel to come out trumps from a neck-and-neck thriller 21-19, 18-21, 21-15. Sridhar, who outclassed Olympic gold medallist Taufiq Hidayat on Wednesday, has a much tougher task now as he faces defending champion and World No. 1 Lin Dan.
However, in the women’s singles Saina Nehwal bowed out after losing to World No. 4 Pi Hongyan of France in the third round. Saina put up a gallant show against the top class opponent before going down 13-21, 17-21.
Setback for Chinese
Meanwhile, Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei crashed out, while China’s formidable shuttlers also suffered shock defeats on a day of upsets.
Lee, the World No. 3, was trounced 21-11, 21-9 by Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, whose aggressive attacks left the Malaysian struggling. Just minutes later, China’s two-time defending champion Xie Xingfang was dumped from the women’s competition by Malaysia’s Wong Mew Choo.
The 10th-seeded Malaysian, spurred on by a raucous home crowd, surprised the World No. 2 with a powerful performance to win 21-10, 21-8.
The match had been expected to be routine for the All-England champion Xie, but China’s stranglehold on these championships was severely tested.
Susilo knocks out Jin
Earlier, third-seeded Chen Jin was knocked out by Singapore’s Ronald Susilo, who had a sharp warning for the Chinese about complacency. Susilo, seeded ninth, downed Chen 21-19, 21-14.
Other men through included Denmark’s Peter Gade, who survived a tough fight against Indonesia’s Simon Santoso.
The results (third round):
Men: Ronald Susilo (Sin) bt Chen Jin (Chn) 21-19, 21-14; Peter Gade (Den) bt Simon Santoso (Ina) 18-21, 21-15, 21-16; Chen Yu (Chn) bt Park Sung-Hwan (Kor) 15-21, 21-16, 21-15; Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) bt Lee Chong Wei (Mas) 21-11, 21-9; Bao Chunlai (Chn) bt Lee Hyun-Ii (Kor) 21-19, 21-11; Lin Dan (Chn) bt Dicky Palyama (Ned) 21-18, 21-17; Anup Sridhar (Ind) bt Muhd Hafiz B. Hashim (Mas) 21-19, 18-21, 21-15; Kenneth Jonassen (Den) bt Przemyslaw Wacha (Pol) 21-11, 21-12.
Women: Zhang Ning (Chn) bt Maria Kristin Yulianti (Ina) 21-10, 21-9; Tracey Hallam (Eng) bt Ella Karachkova (Rus) 21-23, 21-15, 21-19; Zhu Lin (Chn) bt Yip Pui-yin (HK) 21-9, 16-21, 21-14; Lu Lan (Chn) bt Petya Nedeltcheva (Bul) 21-17, 21-12; Wang Chen (HK) bt Tine Rasmussen (Den) 21-13, 21-15; Wong Mew Choo (Mas) bt Xie Xingfang (Chn) 21-10, 21-8; Pi Hongyan (Fra) bt Saina Nehwal 21-13, 21-17. — Agencies