Michelle Li Sets up Last 16 Clash with Nozomi Okuhara; Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong To Play Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet in Mixed Doubles Semis at Tokyo Olympics

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Michelle Li (R) to face Nozomi Okuhara in the women's singles last 16. (photo: BWF)
Michelle Li (R) to face Nozomi Okuhara in the women's singles last 16. (photo: BWF)

Tokyo: The women’s singles competition was relatively calm on Wednesday compared to the men’s singles which featured several high-profile upsets.

Canada’s World No. 11 Michelle Li started strong in her last Group F match by leading Martina Repiska of Slovakia 11-8 at the first game interval. However, she seemed to feel uncomfortable with her left ankle towards the end of the first game but was still able to take the game 21-18.

Repiska put up a spirited fight in the second game, going up 12-8 before Li staged a comeback to win the game 21-16 to top Group F. Li will face World No. 3 Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the last 16 competition on Thursday.

Malaysia’s World No. 35 Soniia Cheah almost created an upset in the last Group N match against World No. 6 Ratchanok Intanon when she shocked the 2013 world champion of Thailand by winning the first game 21-19. Cheah fought back from 0-8 down to take the lead at 17-16 before losing the second game 18-21. Ratchanok wasn’t giving Cheah any wiggle room in the decider, wrapping up the third set 21-10 to set up the last 16 challenge against Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia.

The No. 1 seed Chen Yufei of China is waiting in the quarter-final for winner between An Se-young (KOR) and Busanan Ongbamrungphan (THA) while No. 2 seed Tai Tzu Ying also awaiting for either Gregoria Mariska Tunjung (INA) or Ratchanok Intanon (THA) in the quarters.

Here’s the last 16 draw for Badminton at the 2020 Summer Olympics:
Top Half:
An Se-young (KOR) vs. Busanan Ongbamrungphan (THA)
Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) vs. Michelle Li (CAN)
He Bingjiao (CHN) vs. Beiwen Zhang (USA)

Bottom Half:
Mia Blichfeldt (DEN) vs. P. V. Sindhu (IND)
Kim Ga-eun (KOR) vs. Akane Yamaguchi (JPN)
Gregoria Mariska Tunjung (INA) vs. Ratchanok Intanon (THA)

Mixed Doubles:
The final four of mixed doubles is set and World No. 1 Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong of China will face off against World No. 13 Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong, while World No. 5 Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino of Japan will surely want to prevent an all-Chinese final by trying to beat World No. 3 Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping of China in another semi-final.

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