Badminton Life

British Pair Revive Memories of Athens

When Great Britain's Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson were drawn against China's powerful combination of Gao Ling and Zheng Bo in the mixed doubles, the sentiment of neutrals was pretty much the same.

Most observers felt that the 2004 silver medalists would meet an early end to their 2008 Beijing Games campaign.

After all, they were four years older and they were paired against one of the most consistent doubles pairs in the world.

But self belief and outstanding skills meant the two Brits can look forward to another thrilling Olympic ride.

Emms and Robertson stunned the Chinese second seeds 21-16, 16-21, 21-19 in a marathon 76-minute opening round to reach the quarter-finals.

The irony of it all was that two-time gold medallist Gao was part of the Chinese team who beat the same British pair in the final of the Athens Olympics, partnering Zhang Jun at the time.

The whole of Britain was captivated by Emms and Robertson's run in Athens and they will certainly tune in once again for their quarter-final clash against South Koreans Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae.

Lee will be looking for compensation after he was knocked out of the men's doubles competition.

Liliyana and Nova Widianto, the top seeds in the mixed doubles from Indonesia, battled past Korea's Han Sang-hun and Hwang Yu-mi 23-21, 21-19 to set up a quarter-final clash against Thailand's Prapakamol Sudket and Thoughthongkam Saralee.

Also in the last eight were Indonesia's third seeds Flandy Limpele and Vita Marrisa as well as the fourth seeds from China, He Hanbin and Yu Yang.

There was joy for the United States team in the men's doubles when their team of Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong reached the quarter-finals.

The unseeded pair defeated South Africa's Chris Dednam and Roelof Dednam 21-10, 21-16 in just 20 minutes to set up a daunting match against China's second seeds Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng.

Cai and Fu easily beat Denmark's Jens Dyrloev Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard Hansen 21-12, 21-11.

Top seeds Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, of Indonesia had to fight hard for their three-game victory over China's Guo Zhendong and Xie Zhongbo, who lost 22-20, 10-21, 21-17.

They face Malaysia's former All England champions Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in the next round.

There was heartbreak for the third seeds from Korea, Chung Jaesung and Lee Yongdae, who lost to the Danish pair of Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen 21-16, 21-19.

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