Badminton Life

Badminton-Top duo march on, scare for world champion

* Men's top seeds march on

* Women's world champion survives big scare

* World champion mixed doubles pair downed by English duo

By Dave Thompson

BIRMINGHAM, England, March 11 - World number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and arch-rival Lin Dan of China bustled into the quarter-finals of the All England championships on Thursday.

But there was a major scare for women's singles world champion Lu Lan of China who took 66 minutes to battle past unheralded Briton Susan Eglestaff 25-23 20-22 21-17.

Eglestaff, world ranked 31, played some of the best badminton of her life and fought all the way.

"I'm really pleased with my performance but also really disappointed as I had a chance to take a real scalp," Eglestaff told reporters.

In the men's draw, top seed Chong Wei overcame Sony Dwi Kunncoro 21-11 21-17.

The defeated Indonesian was unseeded but a useful record includes an appearance in the final of the world championships in Malaysia in 2007 and he ranks 11 in the world.

Lin, the world and Olympic champion was stretched hard in the second set by Malaysia's Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, the All England champion in 2003.

Lin, seeking his fifth All England title in the last seven years, trailed 15-12 and 17-15 before moving into top gear to claim his last eight spot 21-14 21-18.

Other big names on display included ex-Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia who broke home hearts with a 21-18 21-14 success over England's Andrew Smith.

There was more disappointment for the crowd when three-times English national champion Rajiv Ouseph was downed 23-21 21-8 by Chinese third seed Chen Jin.

"It was a difficult first set and he played extremely well. He's tall and I had to play a lot from the back, Chen said

But there was consolation for the English in the mixed doubles where they managed to get two unseeded pairs through to the last eight - Anthony Clark and Heather Olver and Nathan Robertson and his new partner Jenny Wallwork.

Robertson and Wallwork beat world champion Danes Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl 21-14 16-21 21-15.

A delighted Robertson, who enjoyed much high level success with his ex-playing partner, the now retired Gail Emms, said: "We are playing well as a pair. There's no confusion out there."

England players and officials alike were stunned earlier in the day by the sudden death of Badminton England chairman Mike Sertin.

"It is a terrible shock, made worse by the fact that it comes right in the middle of the All England 100th Championships, an event in which Mike has been such a driving force," chief executive Adrian Christy said:

Source from Reuters

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