China’s troubles continued into the second day of the Asian Games 2014 individual events yesterday, with Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan falling to an unfancied Indian pair.
Following the second round loss of Women’s Doubles favourites Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli, Men’s Doubles world No.10 pair Liu/Qiu tumbled out in the same stage to India’s Sumeeth Reddy/Manu Attri (featured image), to whom they had not even lost a game in three previous matches. The Indian No.32 duo shocked the Chinese 21-17 21-16 to enter the quarter-finals, where they will meet second seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
Another Chinese pair, Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng, also failed to progress, losing a close match to Indonesia’s Angga Pratama/Rian Agung Saputra 13-21 21-19 22-20. China have no contenders left in Men’s Doubles, a category in which they have a sole gold medal.
Hosts Korea on the other hand saw both their teams – top seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong and Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang (4) – book quarter-final places in straight games. Japan’s Kenichi Hawakawa/Hiroyuki Endo and Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda also made the last eight, alongside Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (above), who survived a three-game test from Thailand’s Wannawat Ampunsuwan/Patiphat Chalarchalaem 21-19 15-21 21-15.
Despite their surprise victory in Men’s Doubles, India saw the exit of their Women’s Singles contender PV Sindhu. The BWF World Championships bronze medallist lost a titanic battle to Indonesia’s Bellaetrix Manuputty 20-22 21-16 22-20 in an hour-long second-round match. However, Sindhu’s senior compatriot Saina Nehwal jogged past Iran’s Soraya Aghaeihajiagha in 25 minutes and will face her nemesis Wang Yihan (China) in the quarter-finals.
Other quarter-finals will see Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun take on Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying; Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju (above) against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, and Sindhu’s conqueror Manuputty against top seed Li Xuerui of China.
Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei, having conjured up an unexpected win over BWF World Championships runners-up Yu/Wang, showed that their appetite had not diminished. The Malaysians won their second successive three-game match, this time over Macau’s Wang Rong/Zhang Zhibo, 21-15 19-21 21-19, to make the semi-finals. Hoo/Woon face top seeds Ayaka Takahashi/Misaki Matsutomo (Japan), while in the other semi-final, Indonesia’s Greysia Polii/Nitya Krishinda Maheswari take on World champions Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei. The Chinese second seeds extricated themselves from a perilous position against local hopefuls Jung Kyung Eun/Kim Ha Na to prevail 21-13 19-21 21-19.
Mixed Doubles saw two close matches, with Singapore winning both. Danny Bawa Chrisnanta (left)/Vanessa Neo recovered from a mid-match slump to overcome Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Ng Hui Lin (21-15 6-21 21-15), while Chayut Triyachart/Yao Li survived an equally difficult encounter against India’s Akshay Dewalkar/Pradnya Gadre 22-20 17-21 21-13.
There were no surprises in Men’s Singles, with most of the favourites going through in straight games. Men’s Singles defending champion Lin Dan (China) had some trouble in finishing off his second round match against Korea’s Lee Dong Keun in straight games – he needed an hour to quell the challenge 21-12 28-26. Hong Kong’s Hu Yun will battle him for a place in the quarter-finals.
Son Wan Ho – hero of Korea’s team gold medal win over China – has a potentially difficult opponent in Srikanth Kidambi. The Indian – 23-21 21-8 victor over Vietnam’s Pham Cao Chuong – has a 2-1 record over Son. Other third-round match-up include Hong Kong’s Wei Nan versus Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto; Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen versus Singapore’s Derek Wong and Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei versus India’s Kashyap Parupalli. Japan’s Kenichi Tago had it easy over Nepal’s Bikash Shrestha (below) and faces Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao next.