Lin Dan, Li Xuerui Advance at New Zealand Open Badminton Tourney

May 2, 2019  Editor: Sandy Zhu

Lin Dan and former women's singles world No. 1 Li Xuerui advanced to the next round after beating their respective opponents on the third day of New Zealand Open badminton tournament on Thursday.

Lin continued his good form in the tournament, beating Sai Praneefh of India 21-12, 21-12.

Lin will be joined in the next round by his compatriot, 18-year-old Xun Feixiang, who beat Heo Kwang-hee of South Korea 23-25, 21-16, 21-11 in the second round.

Li Xuerui, now ranked 15th in the world, didn't met serious challenge in the women's singles second round, beating her Indonesian rival ruselli Hartawan 21-16, 21-13.

Wang Zhiyi also qualified for the next round after edging out Saena Kawakami of Japan 21-16, 14-21, 21-19.

Akane Yamaguchi of Japan stopped Wei Yaxin of China, winning 21-11, 21-16 to book a slot in the next round.

Three Chinese pairs won their matches in the women's doubles on Thursday, with Du Yue/LI Yinhui beating Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria 21-18, 21-16; Chen Xiaofei/Zhou Chaomin rolling over Jasmin Chung Man NG/Justine Villegas of New Zealand 21-10, 21-8 and Dong Wenjing/Feng Xueying defeating Akane Araki/Riko Imai of Japan 21-11, 21-11.

Another Chinese combination Liu Xuanxuan/Xia Yuting fought bravely on Thursday, but still lost 21-12, 15-21, 21-18 to world No. 1 Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara of Japan.

This year's New Zealand Open badminton tournament, which is just one of 11 Super 300 events, also serves as the first qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It attracted a record entry of top shuttlers including Lin Dan, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Li Xuerui, top-ranked women's doubles pair Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara and women's singles world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi.

(Source: Xinhua)

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