Badminton worlds keeps going while London cast in riot

Xinhua, August 10, 2011

The Badminton World Championships went smoothly in the second competition day on Tuesday while London kept extremely alert to the spread of riot with several football matches being called off.

Olympic champion Lin Dan of China played his first match at Wembley Arena in north-west London with a comfortable win over Lithuanian player Kestutis Navickas in the men's singles opening round.

"The court is good," said the three-time world champion after winning the match 21-11, 21-10 in the 2012 London Olympic venue. "There's not drift and the light makes me feel comfortable. Getting used to the conditions here is my top priority during the competition. That's more important than clinching the title."

While being asked about the riot in London, Lin said he felt OK so far but believed it's better to keep cautious. "I think I will try to not go out by myself."

Violence spread out in London for a third consecutive day on Monday with shops being looted, buildings and cars on fire. The trouble first flared on Saturday after a peaceful protest in Tottenham over the fatal shooting of a man by police.

The football friendly between England and the Netherlands planned to be held at Wembley on Wednesday was called off after Tuesday's League Cup matches in West Ham, Charlton, Crystal Palace and Bristol have been postponed.

But shuttlers at Wembley Arena feel nothing unusual as everything goes on smoothly.

"Whenever we go abroad to compete, our coaches always tell us to be careful," said the women's singles world No. 1 Wang Shixian after beating Linda Zechiri from Bulgaria 21-11, 21-14 to reach the last 16.

"I watched it (the riot) on TV, but I don't understand what's happened," said the 21-year-old Chinese player.

Besides the badminton tournament, another Olympic test event is also taking place in London while 24 women's pairs come to test the beach volleyball venue at the Horse Guards Parade from 9-14 August.

However, organizers say they will use two courts instead of one so that spectators, staff and volunteers can leave before dark.

The road cycling Olympic test race is also expected to be held on Sunday as planned.