Bao and Lee make winning start in Madrid


By Simon Baskett

MADRID (Reuters) – China's Bao Chunlai eased into the second round of the badminton world championship on Monday with a 21-15 21-12 victory over Russia's Stanislav Pukhov.

The seasoned Bao, a quarter-finalist at last year's world championship in Anaheim and winner of last month's Korean Open, had few problems disposing of the unrated Pukhov on the opening day of the world championship.

The Chinese, seeded joint fifth in a revised ranking issued by the tournament organisers during the day, will next face Austria's Juergen Koch who overcame Andrew Dabeka of Canada 21-12 21-18.

South Korea's Lee Il-hyun, also seeded to make the quarters, had to stave off a fight-back from Chetand Anand of India before winning through 21-18 18-21.

Dane Joachim Persson, a semi-finalist in this year's European championships, overcame Shon Seung-mo of South Korea 22-20 21-13, while Andrew Smith of England saw off home favourite Pablo Abian 21-15 21-13.

Eric Pang of Netherlands wrapped up a 21-11 21-14 win over Hong Kong's Chan Yan Kit, but Bjoern Joppien had a tougher time of it in a nip-and-tuck 21-17 18-21 22-20 victory over Singapore's Yen Hui Kendrick Lee.

The German now faces a daunting second-round match against top seed Chon Wei Lee of Malaysia.

Taufik Hidayat does not begin the defence of his crown until Tuesday when he takes on Ng Wei of Hong Kong.

The Indonesian will have to wait until Saturday to discover his fate after storming out of his quarter-final showdown against arch-rival Lin Dan at the Hong Kong Open last month in protest at a changed line call.

Lin, who lost to Hidayat in last year's world championships, will not begin his bid to go one better until later in the week as he has been given a first-round bye.


In the women's event, joint fifth seed Yao Jie of the Netherlands, a semi-finalist in the European championships, recovered from a slow start to see off Japan's Yu Hirayama 21-16 21-11.

Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia had a far tougher time as she saved a string of match points to battle her way to a nail-biting 18-21 22-20 21-10 victory over unseeded opponent Chien Yu-Chin of Tapei.

England's Tracey Hallam put a scheduling mix-up behind her to blast past Spain's Lucia Tavera 21-6 21-4 and set up a second round clash against Ella Karachkova of Russia.

"It could go either way, but although I've got a slightly worse record in head-to-heads I beat her last time we met," Hallam said of Karachkova.

Germany's Petra Overzier battled hard to edge a 22-20 19-21 21-16 victory over Lee Hwa-yun of South Korea, while Jiang Yanjiao of China, also seeded to make the last 16, beat India's Saina Nehwal 21-10 21-16.

Xing Aiying of Singapore came from a game down to beat New Zealand's Rachel Hindley 20-22 21-16 21-12 and will now face top seed Zhang Ning.



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