Birmingham: After one day of badminton action, Asia already has the edge in the traditional battle with Europe at the All England Open Championships. World champion Lin Dan led the Asian march as he negotiated a potentially tricky start against Muhammad Roslin Hashim of Malaysia with a 24-22, 16-21, 21-9 win in exactly 60 minutes. Defending champion Lin was one of 12 Asian men who moved into the last 16 as Europe once again struggled to keep pace. The struggle intensified in the last singles of the session when 1999 All England champion Peter Gade, who won the opening Super Series event in Malaysia in January, crashed out to Dutchman Dicky Palyama 15-21, 21-19, 21-19 in the day's longest match at 62 minutes. Second-seeded Chen Jin of China knocked out Andrew Smith, the only Englishman in either singles, 21-11, 21-13. China's two other stars, sixth-seeded Chen Yu and runner-up Bao Chunlai, are also through to the last 16. Bao narrowly escaped Singapore's Ronald Susilo 18-21 21-15 23-21 in 60 minutes. Seventh seed, Kenneth Jonassen beat Poland's Przemyslaw Wacha 21-14, 21-17 and next meets South Korea's Park Sung-hwan. A third Dane, Kasper Oedum, joined Jonassen in the last 16, where he'll have to overcome third-seeded Commonwealth champion Lee Chong Wei after the Malaysian chalked up the fastest men's singles win of the day in 18 minutes in beating Chetan Anand of India 21-12, 21-14. Richard Vaughan of Wales beat world No 16 Eric Pang of Holland 21-11, 17-21, 21-7. Asian women dominate In women's singles, Asian domination was a similar story. Europe's only players to advance were Germany's Xu Huaiwen, Bulgarian Petya Nedeltcheva, France's Pi Hongyan and German Juliane Schenk. World champion Xie Xingfang started with a 21-14, 21-9 win over Judith Meulendijks of the Netherlands, while Olympic champion and second-seeded Zhang knocked out Sweden's Sara Persson 21-14 23-21. Two women's seeds fell in the first round. Sixth-seeded Yao Jie of the Netherlands lost to Jiang Yanjiao of China 21-19, 19-21, 21-7, while the one hiccup for China was the exit of seventh-seeded Lu Lan, beaten by Malaysia's Wong Mew Choo 21-12 21-19.
Topics : Badminton