Wei, Zhou cruise ahead; no walk in the Park for Sung

Korean eighth seed beaten by Dane Jorgensen in thriller

It was, however, curtains for world number eight Sung Hwan Park. The unheralded Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark sent the Korean packing 21-16, 17-21, 21-15.

Wei prevailed over Ola Fagbemi of Nigeria 21-11, 21-4. The Malaysian will take on Vietnam’s world number 14 Nguyen Tein Minh for a place in the quarterfinals. Nguyen, a winner over top seed in the Singapore International this year, will pose some tough questions to Wei.

Mi too had little trouble against New Zealand’s Michelle Chan Ky, the Hong Kong player emerging a 21-11, 21-15 winner. Chinese by birth, Mi has risen to number one in the world after coming out of a two-year retirement. “I am proud of the fact that I am number one after returning from retirement. But at the same time, there is also  pressure to win the tournament as I am the top seed here,” she said.

Dane Peter Gade and another title contender, Taufik Hidayat, too made it to the last 16 stage with facile wins. Gade was clinical in his demolition of Japan’s Sho Sasaki 21-11, 21-12, while crowd favourite Hidayat overwhelmed his French opponent Mathieu Lo Ying Ping 21-17, 21-15.    

“I had prepared well for the match and there was lot of pressure on him. Tactically, I was very good and I was quick as well on the court. I am very happy with my performance,” said Gade, adding that he was a bit anxious going into his second-round match as he had a day off.

There were also a couple of minor upsets. Japan’s Ai Goto shocked world number 14 Mew Chong Wong of Malaysia in a gruelling three-game women’s match 18-21, 21-12, 23-21 and progressed to the pre-quarters. Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand sent Dutch world number 16 Judith Meulendijiks tumbling 11-21, 21-16, 21-11. Women’s title contender Chinese Xie Xingfang advanced when her Bulgarian opponent Linda Zechin retired while trailing 21-23, 10-18.

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