China's Shi suffers shock exit at Asian Games

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China's top-seeded singles player, Shi Yu Qi, conceded defeat in the qualifying round of the men's singles badminton event at Gelora Bung Karno sports complex in Jakarta on Friday.

Shi lost to Indonesia's Jonatan Christie 19-21, 21-19, 17-21 in a grueling 68-minute match.

Jonatan said that, as predicted, the match would go the distance with the players going all out. The world number 15 said he was glad to have maintained focus even though he was playing against the world number two.

The match saw long rallies that sapped the energy out of both players. Jonatan said that, as there were between seven and 15 hits in each rally, playing with heavy focus was highly important.

Next, Jonatan will play against Thailand's Khosit Phetpradab, who beat Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka 21-12, 21-12 in his qualifying match. Jonatan said that even though he would be playing a non-seeded shuttler in the round of 16, he would not take anything for granted and continue to focus. As seeding was just a number, he said the Thai athlete would present a challenge.

In the match against Shi Yu Qi, Jonatan got full support from fans who tirelessly cheered him on, while Shi protested the linesmen's calls on several occasions. In a separate match, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia advanced in a swift 21-9, 21-8 defeat over Iran's Mehran Shahbazi.

The match marked Anthony's first after he suffered from muscle cramps that forced him to exit the court early in the men's team final on Wednesday.

"Praise God, I was able to win. I'm still not 100 percent fit but I'm getting better," he said after the match. Anthony said that in his one-day break to recover, he underwent massage therapy, muscle stretching exercises and water submersion therapy. He expressed gratitude over the staunch support from fans who stood behind him and his teammates from start to finish. In the round of 16, Anthony will face second-seeded Kento Momota of Japan.

"Well, I need to focus throughout the match," he said.

In his last meeting with Momota in the men's team event, Ginting lost in a rubber match.

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