Success of Chinese shuttlers on Day 5

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Chinese shuttlers achieved success in their matches on Wednesday despite the disqualification shadow.

A match in the spotlight was between Olympic defending champion Lin Dan and his arch-rival Taufik Hidayat, in which Lin outplayed the latter 21-9 and 21-12.

Lin Dan of China competes during men's badminton singles round of 16 contest, at London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, on August 1, 2012. Lin Dan of China defeated Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia 2-0. [Xinhua]

Lin Dan of China competes during men's badminton singles round of 16 contest, at London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, on August 1, 2012. Lin Dan of China defeated Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia 2-0. [Xinhua]

The match was believed to be their last Olympic encounter, where Lin dominated the court during two games.

Compared with an intense battle, the match was more like an exchange between two old friends.

In the first match, when the 11th seed Hidayat lashed the shuttlecock across the sideline, Lin went over to clap hands with him as encouragement.

But they both did their best in their last show, with Lin slipped over after trying to save a shot. Hidayat, not in the form, made several mistakes.

After the match, both badminton stars waved to spectators while the crowd applauded as they bowed out.

"I am satisfied with the game," Hidayat said after the competition. "I knew it would be hard to play, because Lin Dan is at the top of the players."

The "baby-faced assasin", 31 already, started playing badminton since he was eight and started at a professional level in 1998. Believed one of the best players in an era, the Athens Olympic champion boasts numerous fans not only in his own country but also in China. In the 2006 World Championships, he hit a forehand smash that was recorded at 305 kilometers per hour, the fastest ever in singles competitions at that time.

But he seemed losing his sharpness in recent years. He has met Lin for 15 times on the court, winning three times and never be able to beat the latter after 2006.

"It is amazing, four times in the Olympics," he said emotionally. "This is the last time."

Lin Dan said that he concentrated on the competition from beginning to the end. "I can see that Hidayat was not in his best status," he said. "But he is a good player and I believe he seizes any chance. In fact, he was doing all he could. The best tribute for such a player is my utmost effort in the performance."

His next opponent will be Japanese left-handed Sasaki Sho, world's No. 6.

Two other Chinese players in men's singles, Chen Long and Chen Jin, both defeated their rivals to march into the quarter. Chen Long will have a tough battle against badminton legend, Denish Peter Gade, while Chen Jin will be playing Lee Hyun Il.

In women's singles, all three Chinese players Wang Yihan, Wang Xin and Li Xuerui won on Wednesday.

Competition was hard for the No. 1 seed Wang Yihan. With Bae Yeon-Ju appearing aggressive at the beginning, the 24-year-old Wang lost the first game 15-21. But she managed to improve in the following two sets and scoring 21-14 each.

"It was very hard to win after an initial loss," she said. "But it is a warning for me that I should get in form more quickly in the match."

Nicknamed Kitty because of her round face, Wang said she will shift her focus to the next competition. "The player who can edge into the quarter-final must be highly competitive and I will have myself prepared for the test." She will be facing Cheng Shao Chieh from Chinese Taipei.

Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei and Xu Chen/Ma Jin entered the semifinal of mixed doubles. Paired with Tian Qing, Zhao Yunlei will be playing in semifinal in women's doubles as well.

Another Chinese pair in women's doubles, Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang were disqualified on Wednesday by the Badminton World Federation.

They had been charged under BWF's Players' Code of Conduct. According to sections 4.5 and 4.6 of the code, "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport" will not be allowed.

They are replaced by Valeria Sorokina/Nina Vislova from Russia, Michellle Edwards/Annari Viljoen from South Africa, Alex Bruce/Michele Li from Canada and Leanne Choo/Renuga Veeran from Australia. The Russian and Canadian pairs won while the former will meet China's Tian and Zhao.

Li Yongbo, China's badminton head coach, apologized for the match-throwing conduct, and so did Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang.

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