Malaysia's Lee advances at Olympic badminton

Aug. 12, 2008, 3:08 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Second-seeded Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia coasted to a 21-5, 21-7 win over Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania on Tuesday to advance to the Olympic badminton men's singles quarterfinals.

Lee, who is bidding for Malaysia's first gold medal in the Olympics, will meet sixth-seeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia in Thursday's quarterfinals. Dwi Koncoro defeated Finland's Ville Lang 21-13, 21-18.

"I'll need to prepare my defense," said Lee. "He (Sony) is a good attacking player. I feel like I am only 80 percent now but hopefully will get better with each game."

Along with top-seeded Lin Dan of China, Lee is among the favorites to win the gold medal in men's singles. Defending Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia was eliminated in the second round on Monday.

In other men's singles matches, South Korea's Lee Hyun-il overpowered Germany's Marc Zwiebler 21-13, 21-11.

Third-seeded Bao Chunlai of China survived a scare but held on to defeat Poland's Przemyslaw 21-11, 19-21, 21-13. Bao won the match in with a powerful smash that Przemyslaw returned into the net.

In men's doubles, Americans Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong defeated South African brothers Chris and Roelof Dednam 21-10, 21-16 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Malaythong and Bach will meet second-seeded Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng of China in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Cai and Fu, who are third in the world rankings, defeated Jens Dyrloev Eriksen and Martin Hansen Lundgaard of Denmark 21-12, 21-11.

By reaching the quarterfinals, Malaythong and Bach have already advanced further than any American ever has in the Olympic badminton tournament, but the two aren't satisfied.

"We want a medal," said Bach. "Gold would be nice but just to get a medal would be a huge achievement for us."

In mixed doubles, the top-seeded pair of Liliyana Natsir and Nova Widianto of Indonesia defeated South Koreans Han Sung-hun and Hwang Yu-mi 23-21, 21-19 to move into the quarterfinals.