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Tokyo 2020 badminton: Chen avoids early encounter with Momota, Axelsen

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 9, 2021
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Chen Long.

Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China avoided an early encounter with world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan and Viktor Axelsen of Denmark after being drawn in the bottom half of badminton men's singles for Tokyo 2020 on Thursday.

But the Chinese veteran has to face All England champion Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, who is widely seen as a potential dark horse in Tokyo, in the first knockout round, according to the draw conducted at the National Badminton Center in Milton Keynes, England.

Chen's teammate Shi Yuqi will be in the same quarter with Olympic bronze medalist Axelsen, Asian Games gold medalist Jonatan Christie, as the three will vie for a slot to challenge home favorite Momota in the semifinals.

In the women's singles, top seed Chen Yufei of China and her teammate He Bingjiao will be in the upper half. He needs to defeat the third seed Nozomi Okuhara to secure an all-Chinese semifinal.

The men's doubles top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo find themselves in a tricky group with Chinese Taipei's Wang Chi-Lin/Lee Yang, Britain's Ben Lane/Sean Vendy and India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty.

Wang/Lee swept the Asian Leg of tournaments in January, winning three titles in three weeks, while the other two pairs, Lane/Vendy and Rankireddy/Shetty, also have had some good results in recent times.

In the women's doubles, Asian Games champions Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan found themselves in a competitive group with recent Thailand Open winners Kim So-yeong/Kong Hee-yong, Thailand's Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai and Bulgaria's Stefani Stoeva/Gabriela Stoeva.

In the mixed doubles, the top two seeds Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong and Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping provide the best hope to deliver a gold medal for China. 

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