Mon, 20 Sep 2021

TOKYO, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Badminton world No. 1 and top-seeded mixed doubles duo Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong defeated the Netherlands' Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek in straight games at Tokyo 2020 here on Sunday.

Zheng and Huang's win served as a revenge of sorts for the 2020 All England Open Badminton Championships, when the Chinese duo were knocked out before the quarterfinal stage by the Dutch pair.

The game began in seesaw fashion with the two teams tied at 15-15, before the Chinese pair seized the initiative and earned six points in a row to take the first game.

The second game was more challenging for Zheng and Huang. The Dutch duo dominated from the onset and kept their lead. However, the Chinese shuttlers clawed back from 8-13 down and held on to clinch another game, 22-20 this time.

"I feel like this was the first real game of the Tokyo Olympics," Huang said. "We came to get a feel of long rallies today, especially swift actions."

Zheng and Huang will encounter the world No. 6 duo of Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung on Monday.

Elsewhere, men's singles world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan easily outclassed the United States' Timothy Lam 21-12, 21-9.

Momota, a rising star and one of the powerful favorites to claim Olympic gold on home soil, missed the 2016 Rio Games after receiving a one-year ban by the Nippon Badminton Association for gambling at an illegal casino in Tokyo.

In a double dose of misfortune, Momota was involved in a car crash in early 2020 in which he suffered facial injuries. He had surgery for an eye socket fracture and gradually recovered, and expressed his delight at finally competing on the Olympic stage.

"I'm really happy to be here after five years. I was able to prepare well so I had a lot of confidence today," he said.

Meanwhile, women's singles world No. 2 Chen Yufei of China needed only 20 minutes to ease past Egyptian shuttler Doha Hany 21-5, 21-3.

Chen described her Olympic goal as "Enjoy the games, aim for the best, and then go for championship."

Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long, 32, trounced Estonia's Raul Must in straight games 21-10, 21-9.

Chen's teammate Shi Yuqi beat Malta's Matthew Abela 21-8, 21-9, while fellow Chinese He Bingjiao routed the Maldives' Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq 21-6, 21-3 in only 20 minutes in the women's singles event.

China's mixed doubles duo Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping defeated Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong, China 21-12, 21-18. The Chinese men's doubles pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen outclassed the German duo of Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel 21-14, 21-13.

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