Lin advances in badminton, Hidayat crashes out
BEIJING (AP) Top-seeded Lin Dan of China coasted to a straight-sets win on Monday while defending champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia was ousted in the second round of men's singles in Olympic badminton.
Lin, playing in his first match of the tournament, defeated Hong Kong's Wei Ng 21-16, 21-13 to advance to the third round.
The world's top-ranked men's player lost in the first round in Athens four years ago but there were no early-round jitters this time.
"I remember what happened four years ago and was prepared this time," said Lin. "I was much more focused and put everything into this match."
China won three out of five gold medals in Athens and will be looking to at least match that haul on home soil.
The pressure will be on Lin to secure the gold.
"I know many Chinese expect me to win the gold medal," said Lin. "But I must be myself. I'm not the defending Olympic champion so I just have to try my best."
Lin's road to the gold medal cleared a bit when unseeded Wong Choong Hann of Malaysia upset Taufik 21-19, 21-16.
After struggling with his form this year and coming down with a fever just before the Olympics, the expectations weren't high for seventh-seeded Taufik but an early exit still came as a surprise.
"I wasn't 100 percent," said Taufik, who also had a first-round bye. "I haven't been feeling well. I tried my best but couldn't get it done."
In an earlier match, Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei defeated Singapore's Ronald Susilo.
Second-seeded Lee, who is bidding for Malaysia's first Olympic gold medal, downed Susilo 21-13, 21-14. Many are predicting a showdown between Lee and Lin in the final.
Eighth-seeded Peter Gade of Denmark coasted to a 21-6, 21-4 win over Algeria's Nabil Lasmari.
South Korea's Lee Hyun-il defeated fifth-seeded Kenneth Jonassen 15-21, 21-14, 21-19 while third-seeded Bao Chunlai of China defeated Guatemala's Kevin Gordon 21-17, 21-16.
Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who is seeded sixth, defeated Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand 21-16, 21-14 while fourth-seeded Chen Jin of China coasted to a 21-9, 21-11 win over New Zealand's John Moody.
In women's singles, Lin's girlfriend, Xie Xingfang of China, posted a 21-16, 21-15 win over Belarus' Olga Konon to advance to the quarterfinals.
Third-seeded Lu Lan of China cruised to a 21-7, 21-12 win over Canadian Anna Rice, while seventh-seeded Xu Huaiwen of Germany defeated Britain's Tracey Hallam 21-10, 21-7.
Indonesia's unseeded Kristen Maria Yulianti upset sixth-seeded Tine Rasmussen of Denmark 18-21, 21-19, 21-14.
"I was a little nervous but it's the Olympics and everyone has to deal with that," said Rasmussen, who came in as a gold medal favorite. "I didn't play my best today and she took advantage."
Defending Olympic champion and second-seeded Zhang Ning of China also advanced with a 21-11, 21-12 win over South Korea's Jun Jae-youn. Fifth-seeded Pi Hongyan of France got past Japan's Eriko Hirose 21-12, 16-21, 21-6.
Earlier Monday, Japan's Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna upset defending Olympic champions Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen of China to advance to the women's doubles semifinals.
Maeda and Suetsuna will meet Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Kyungwon in the semifinals. The South Koreans downed Singapore's Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia 21-15, 21-12.
In other women's doubles matches, the Chinese second-seeded duo of Du Jing and Yu Yang defeated Japan's Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura 21-18, 21-5 while third-seeded Wei Yili and Zhang Yawen defeated Taiwanese pair Cheng Wen-hsing and Chien Yu-chin 21-14, 21-18.