Badminton Life

Taiwanese Pair Eye Semi-Final Place

They may be unseeded but Taiwan's Chien Yu Chin and Cheng Wen Hsing have high hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Beijing Olympics women's doubles competition.

Chien and Cheng are ranked number five in the world but are not seeded for the Olympic badminton event. However, rather than being a disadvantage, the pair maintain that it has eased the pressure on them.

They say all the tension will now be on their rivals, including the mighty Chinese.

Chien and Cheng are slated to meet the number three seeds from China, Wei Yili and Zhang Yawen, in the quarter-finals, if they can overcome their first-round opponents from South Africa.

Basically, the hopeful duo only need two victories in order to reach the last four. It may sound simple but the Chinese pair will be formidable opponents.

However, of all the difficult Chinese pairs in the draw, Wei and Zhang are the ones the Taiwanese prefer to play.

"We have more confidence against this pair than the other two. We know how they play and we are able to use our skills freely against them. The other pairs won't let us do that," the 26-year-old Chien told Xinhua during a training stint in Beijing.

Cheng, who is still recovering from a wrist injury she suffered earlier this year, added: "We will try out best to reach semi-finals."

The two women, known for their bouts of giggling and playful habits, described the powerful Chinese squad as "generals with guns and canons" while players like them are merely the brave soldiers trying to survive with only swords and spears.

There are only four badminton players representing Taiwan at the Olympics and the women's doubles pair represents their best chance of winning a medal.

Taiwan, considered a rogue province by the China central government, is allowed to compete in the Olympics as a separate entity as long as they use the Olympic flag and play the Olympic anthem during victory ceremonies.

Women's singles player Cheng Shao Chieh, ranked 25th, also has a medal chance, having last year beaten the top seed from China, Xie Xingfang, in the Indonesian Open.

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