Indonesian Shuttler Hidayat Sets Up Last-16 Olympic Showdown With Lin
London. Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia woke up in time to account for Pablo Abian of Spain 22-20, 21-11 and set up a clash of Olympic badminton champions with Lin Dan in the last 16 at Wembley Arena on Tuesday.
Taufik didn’t enjoy starting the group decider at 9:20 a.m. He blew a 19-17 lead and had to save a game point at 20-19, but controlled the rest of his first matchup with Abian.
“I never play early mornings, I’m not an early morning person,” Taufik said. “My body is still adjusting. Because I play too early, it’s like I’m still sleeping.”
Taufik, the gold medallist in Athens eight years ago, will face Beijing champion Lin. The mercurial Taufik won their early matches, but he last beat Lin in the 2006 Asian Games final in Doha. The Chinese star has won all nine matches since, including in the All England Open quarterfinals in February.
Asked if he was still good enough to beat Lin, Taufik said, “Before, not. Now… we’ll see.”
Indonesia’s other entry, Simon Santoso, beat Michael Lahnsteiner of Austria 21-11, 21-7 to line up top-seeded Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
“In the draw [Taufik and I are] very unlucky that we meet Chong Wei and Lin Dan [in the first knockout round],” Simon said. “At the beginning we’re playing very low-ranked players but now we both play Lee and Lin. It’s very unlucky. I will try to find the weakness of Lee and hit that.”
Also, Kevin Cordon of Guatemala showed his quarterfinal run in last year’s world championships wasn’t a fluke as he ended host Britain’s involvement by beating Rajiv Ouseph 12-21, 21-17, 21-19.
“When I came here to London I remembered last year, it was one of my best results in my career,” said Cordon, one of only three unseeded men to advance from group play. “I felt this is one of my lucky lands.”
The round of 16 sees Chong Wei vs. Simon, Niluka Karunaratne (Sri Lanka) vs. Parupilli Kashyap (India), Chen Long (China) vs. Wong Wing Ki (Hong Kong), Peter Gade (Denmark) vs. Son Wan-ho (South Korea), Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark) vs. Lee Hyun-il (South Korea), Marc Zwiebler (Germany) vs. Chen Jin (China), Cordon vs. Sho Sasaki (Japan), Taufik vs. Lin.
In women’s play, European champion Tine Baun of Denmark typically gutsed out a 19-21, 21-15, 21-16 win over Anastasia Prokopenko of Russia.
“Even though my shots were not the best today, I was fighting, fighting,” said Baun, who has been carrying a heel injury all year.
Adrianti Firdasari of Indonesia was one of only two unseeded players to win their group when she defeated 15th-seeded Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria 21-10, 21-15. Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong was the other not seeded.
The last 16 lineup is: Wang Yihan (China) vs. Bae Yeon-ju (South Korea), Cheng Shao-chieh (Taiwan) vs. Juan Gu (Singapore), Saina Nehwal (India) vs. Jie Yao (Netherlands), Baun vs. Sayaka Sato (Japan), Hongyan Pi (France) vs. Yip Pui Yin (Hong Kong), Tai Tzu-ying (Taiwan) vs. Li Xuerui (China), Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) vs. Juliane Schenk (Germany), Firdasari vs. Wang Xin (China).