Tianjin: Rio Olympic champion Chen Long’s bid for his first men’s singles title at the China National Games in Tianjin was stopped abruptly Tuesday as he lost in two sets to unheralded player Lu Guangzu of Jiangsu team in the second round.
After an undefeated performance for the Fujian team in the men’s team event, Chen Long was hoping to clinch his first ever title in the biggest sport event in China, but instead, the two-time world champion was struggling badly, losing 19-21, 13-21 to Lu in 39 minutes. Lu Guangzu will take on former Chinese national team player Du Pengyu on Wednesday.
Chen admitted that he was clearly exhausted from playing in several consecutive tournaments in three weeks.
“I was tired and I lost my focus. I’ll need some time to rest my body and to prepare for the second half of the season,” said Chen Long.
Although two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan eventually wore down Wu Xin from the Army team, 21-19, 22-24, 21-15, but not without a fight; the 34-year-old weathered the spirited challenge from Wu Xin in the second set before eventually folding in the decider. Lin Dan will face Huan Yuxiang of Zhejiang next.
In women’s singles, two former World No. 1 players Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan have both made the quarter-finals. Wang Shixian will clash with Sun Yu while Wang Yihan will battle Chen Xiaoxin for a semi-final berth.