China's Lu Guangzu claims big scalp in badminton Worlds

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Lu Guangzu of China competes during the men's singles second round match with Chou Tien-Chen of Chinese Taipei at the BWF World Championships 2021 in Huelva, Spain, Dec. 14, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)

China's Lu Guangzu sprang a big surprise in the TotalEnergies BWF World Badminton Championships on Tuesday when he defeated number four seed Chou Tien-Chen in three sets to book his place in the last 16.

Lu's performance showed great resilience as he fought back after losing the first set 21-14 to claim the second set 21-15 to level the tie and then repeat that 21-15 score in the decisive third set.

"Chou is a very tough player. All I can do is to fight every point, so I tried to keep the rallies long rally to look for opportunities. I started badly in the first set, but then I was patient and played the strategies of my own," said Lu.

"I was strong in the second set and hit a lot of sharp smashes. I was thinking I don't need to save energy for the following matches because there won't be any following matches if I lost. And it worked," he said.

Lu will now face number 12 seed Kidambi Srikanth, who ended Li Shifeng's adventure in Spain after a tough battle 15-21, 21-18, 21-17 after Li won the first set and was in with a chance of qualifying for the last 16 until the last moment of a tightly fought game.

"Kidambi is very experienced player and I believe he was taking full advantage of his experience to beat down Li today. I have never beaten him before but I'll be well prepared for the tough game. Hopefully I can make some breakthroughs just like today," said Lu.

In the women's singles, He Bingjiao moved into the last 16 after beating Marie Batomene of France in straight sets 21-12, 21-15,

China's number one seeds, Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan strolled into the last 16 with an easy 21-11, 21-4 victory over the Peruvian pairing of Ines Castillo and Paula La Torre.

Ng Wing Yung and Yeung Nga Ting also progressed after defeating 16th seeds Amalie Magelund and Freja Ravn, 21-16, 21-18. 

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