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Chinese women shuttlers advance smoothly at Beijing Games
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Chinese women badminton players moved forward smoothly on Sunday at the Beijing Olympic Games, with all the players for the singles round of 32 and doubles round of 16 beating their rivals.

Defending champion Zhang Ning, world No. 1 Xie Xingfang and No. 2 Lu Lan beat Salakjit Ponsana from Thailand, Cheng Shao-chieh from Chiense Taipei and Karen Foo Kune from Mauritius, respectively.

It was not an easy match for a 33-year-old Zhang Ning as she was troubled by injuries and the Thai shuttler was quick and consistent. Xie and Lu claimed landslide victories against their opponents.

Xie beat Cheng, a quarterfinalist at the Athens Games and now ranked No. 25, at 21-1, 21-9. Cheng did not get any score in the first game except the first point at the very beginning of the first game.

Cheng said after the match that "Xie was cool minded and stabler than before."

In the women's doubles, Yang Wei/Zhang Jiewen, Wei Yili/Zhang Yawen and Yu Yang/Du Jing entered the quarterfinals. However, their victories were not as easy as those of singles.

Yang Wei/Zhang Jiewen were once trailed Liliyana Natsir/Vita Marissa from Indonesia, but they recollected themselves and won 21-19, 21-15.

"It is a tough game. I felt a little stiff in the beginning of the match. It is normal to feel a bit nervous," Yang said.

The Indonesians were the world's top players for mixed doubles, as Liliyana Natsir/Nova Widianto rank No. 1 and Vita Marissa/Flandy Limpele No. 3.

Other seeded and high-ranking players such as Wang Chen from Hong Kong, China, Wong Mew Choo and Hirose Eriko from Japan all won their victories.

A total of 47 players are competing in the women's singles and 16 pairs for women's doubles.

(Xinhua News Agency August 10, 2008)

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