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BIRMINGHAM, 11 March 2017:
Six-time champion Lin Dan and Malaysia’s world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei took one step each closer to a mouth-watering final showdown of the All England badminton championship after both reached the semifinals here yesterday.
Chong Wei maintained his winning pace to advance to the semifinals of the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham.
He comfortably trounced China’s Tian Houwei 21-12 dan 21-15 in their quarterfinal match played early today, Malaysia time.
Chong Wei will face Taiwanese Chou Tien Chen who defeated Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-19, 16-21, 21-8 in another quarterfinal match.
Lin, the defending champion, fought back from one game down to defeat third seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. Lin, nicknamed Super Dan by his fans, scored only eight points in the opening game.
But the two-time Olympic champion soon found his form to win the second game 21-14 and take the tie into a decider, which he triumphed 21-15.
“It was a great match,” the 34-year-old Lin said. “In the first set I didn’t play too well, I had a slow start. In the second I was better, my movement was better.
“Obviously there is a big age gap between me and Axelsen. I am proud with the way I am still able to compete at this level at my age.”
Lin will next take on fellow Chinese Shi Yuqi, who eliminated Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai 21-13, 21-4, while Lee will meet Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, who defeated Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-19, 16-21, 21-8.
Chong Wei enjoyed a more comfortable victory in a later match, wrapping up a straight games win over seventh seed Tian in just 45 minutes.
Also in the semifinals for Malaysia are mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying who dismissed Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping from China, 23-21 and 21-14 in their quarterfinal game.
They will meet Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino from Japan who overcame South Koreans Yoo Yeon Seong-Kim Ha Na 21-17, 18-21, 22-20.
But for national men’s doubles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, the semifinal quest ended following their defeat at the hands of China’s Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen 19-21, 21-17, 19-21.
Yesterday’s action also saw two reigning Olympic gold medalists eliminated, as Carolina Marin of Spain and the mixed doubles pairing of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia suffered surprise defeats.
The Indonesian duo lost in three games to English favorites and the married pair Chris and Gabby Adcock while fifth seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand toppled Marin.
In the men’s doubles as Chinese duo Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan came from behind to defeat third seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan 23-21, 21-15, 21-19.
“I am happy that we won this match, we had a lot of preparation and we were mentally well prepared,” said Liu.
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