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Badminton Powerhouse China Takes 1st Win at Asiad
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Traditional powerhouse China, together with Malaysia and South Korea, all clinched their first wins in the men's badminton team competition at the Doha Asian Games here on Thursday.

Spearheaded by World No. 1 Lin Dan, China swept the all-amateur squad of India by 5-0. However, Lin only managed for a two-point win in his first set at the Asian Games 21-19.

Lin trailed Anup Sridhar behind at 3-5 in the beginning and tied time and again with his opponent from 5-5 to 19-19.

The unknown Sridhar scrambled with Lin in "weird style". "He played in a strange way," said Lin who finished the second set 21-11, "I even wanted to give up the first set at 19-19."

Following Lin's victory, Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng, Chen Jin, Guo Zhendong/Xie Zhongbo and Bao Chunlai beat their rivals respectively in straight sets.

The 20-year-old Chen Jin, who pulled off the victory at his first Asiad game 21-7, 21-19, echoed for Lin, saying "we seldom encounter the Indian shuttlers, but we know it's not easy to defeat them. Their action in front of the net are strange."

Beginning with World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei's win over Sato Shoji 21-10 21-18, the Malaysian shuttlers didn't lose one set in their five-game combat against Japan.

South Korea overcame Vietnam 4-1, with big name Lee Hyun Il surprisingly losing to Ngyen Tien Minh in the first rubber.

Lee, runner-up in the men's singles at last Asian Games won the first set 21-16, but lost ground in the following two sets 14-21 and 12-21.

"I think he was very nervous," said Ngyen, "I was very relaxed because I didn't think I would win."

(Xinhua News Agency December 9, 2006)

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