Olympic champ Hidayat knocks out Chinas Bao (pic)

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TOKYO Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat came through a tough three-game match to knock Chinas world silver medallist Bao Chunlai out of the Japan Open badminton tournament yesterday.

Indonesias Taufik Hidayat returns a shuttle toward third-seeded Bao Chunlai of China during their mens singles second round match of the Japan Open badminton tournament in Tokyo, yesterday. Hidayat beat Bao by 21-12, 12-21, 21-19. (AFP)

The encounter was on a knife-edge at 18-18 in the final game before the unseeded Indonesian rallied to win 21-12, 12-21, 21-19.

It was tough for the first match. But it was a bit unlucky for me to play such a strong opponent in my first match since my ranking has gone down, said Taufik, 25.

Because, even if I had lost, its all right. But if I win, it gives me a bigger chance to advance further. I can concentrate on my other matches better than today.

The unpredictable Hidayat has spent much of this season on the sidelines due to injury and crashed out of last months world championships in the third round.

Its only my sixth tournament. Thats why my ranking has gone down. One of my goals here is to move up in the rankings because of the Asian Games at the end of this year, said Hidayat, ranked 34th.

Hidayats next opponent will be Japans Koichi Saeki, who beat ninth seed Ng Wei of Hong Kong and Yusuke Shinkai in his opening matches.

Meanwhile, world champion and top seed Lin Dan of China eased aside Japans Yusuke Arita 21-11, 21-17 in his opening match.

Asian champion Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, the second seed, downed former Asian champion Soni Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia 21-13, 21-18.

European champion Peter Gade of Denmark thrashed Takuma Ueda of Japan 21-13, 21-13, while fifth seed Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand beat Takashi Kawauchi 21-15, 21-5.

Former Japan Open champions Muhammad Roslin Hashim of Malaysia and Ronald Susilo of Singapore also reached the third round along with Chen Hong, Roslins brother Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, and Simon Santoso of Indonesia.

Joint ninth seed Shoji Sato of Japan and Dicky Palyama of the Netherlands failed to clear the first hurdle, while Keoh Kay Bin crashed to a 21-15, 9-21, 23-21 defeat to Poompat Sapkulchananart of Thailand.

In the womens competition, Soratja Chansrisukot of Thailand shocked 1998 Asian Games gold medallist Kanako Yonekura of Japan 21-18, 21-19.

(source: thepeninsulaqatar)

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