Aug 09 Indonesia's Yulianti advances in Olympic badminton

Aug. 09, 2008, 12:50 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Maria Kristen Yulianti of Indonesia rallied to defeat Juliane Schenk of Germany in three sets Saturday, the opening day of the Olympic badminton tournament.

Yulianti dropped the first set but recovered for an 18-21, 21-13, 22-20 win over Schenk to advance to the second round at Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium.

Schenk held match point at 20-19, but Yulianti won the final three points and will face Spain's Yoana Martinez in the second round of the women's singles. Martinez was a 21-9, 21-16 winner over Australia's Erin Carroll.

All the top seeded players have a first-round bye.

China's Lin Dan is top-seeded in the men's singles and will play his first match in the second round on Monday against unseeded Ng Wei of Hong Kong.

China's Xie Xingfang, the top-seeded woman, sees her first action Sunday against Taiwan's Cheng Shao-chieh.

Badminton was contested as a demonstration sport during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It debuted as a full medal sport in 1992 at Barcelona.

China won three out of five gold medals in Athens and is expected to dominate the badminton tournament on home soil.

In other first-round matches, Japan's Eriko Hirose defeated Iceland's Ragna Bjorg Ingolfsdottir 21-6, 19-7. Ingolfsdottir was forced to retire in the second set after twisting her left knee.

Larysa Gryga of Ukraine downed Italy's Agnese Allegrini 21-15, 21-11.

In men's first-round matches, Przemyslaw Wacha of Poland defeated Estonia's Raul Must 21-14, 21-15 while Germany's Marc Zwiebler posted a 21-18, 18-21, 21-19 win over Ireland's Scott Evans.

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