Bao and Chen to face fierce competition
2007-11-24 14:10:00   CIS

  (Guangzhou, November 23) The semifinals of the China Open Badminton Championships 2007 will be staged on November 24. Bao Chunlai and Chen Jin will meet Park Sung Hwan and Lee Chong Wei respectively, after ensuring all-Chinese semifinals in the women's doubles, China is expected to claim the title of the women's singles in advance tomorrow.

  Focus : Bao and Chen to face fierce competition

  Bao will take on Park Sung Hwan from Korea in the semifinal. After knocking out Super Dan in the first round, Park showed his strong momentum to make it through to the semifinals after successive victories over veterans Hafiz and Jonassen. While Bao, on his side, is believed to have gained enough physical strength after the successive withdrawal of Taufik and his compatriot Chen Hong, though Zhong Bo, head coach of the men's singles of the Chinese team, told Bao was a bit tired from previous tournaments. Bao has a good record of 3-0 against Park and plays home. It is believed that Bao stands a good chance of entering the final of Super Series for the third time since October.

  Chen Jin played to his strength after being out of sorts for a period of time. After his easy victory over Gade, head coach Li Yongbo gave the thumb up for him, "He claimed an impressive victory and played up to his standards." However, Lee Chong Wei, on his side, showed his good form in the three-game match against Sony from Indonesia today after a victory over Ponsana in the first round. There will surely be fierce competition between the two players.

  Focus Å: Biggest dark horse of the women's doubles to be known

  After the quarterfinals, Wei Yili/Zhang Yawen, Du Jing/Yu Yang, Pan Pan/Tian Qing and Gao Ling/Zhao Tingting have ensured all-Chinese semifinals in the women's doubles. Talented pair Pan Pan/Tian Qing was undoubtedly a dark horse of this event, who surprised Zhang Jun, former Olympic champion and member of the women's doubles group of the Chinese team, with a whirlwind 2-0 victory over Indonesia veteran pair Liliyana Natsir/Vita Marissa, champion of the China Masters today.

  Before this event, the best record of Pan/Tian is the third place of the Asia Championships last year and the second place of the Philippine Open this year. Tomorrow they will set up a clash against their elder compatriots Gao Ling/Zhao Tingting. In spite of being old, Gao/Zhao was paired up for the first time, unexpectedly knocked out their compatriots Yang Wei/Zhang Jiewen in the quarterfinal and can be rated as a dark horse. For Gao and Zhao, if they wish to catch the last bus to the Olympics, they will have to perform well in remaining few events.

  The other semifinal will be staged between Zhang Yawen/Wei Yili and Du Jing/Yu Yang.

  Focus ‰: Fighting to the end in the men's doubles and mixed doubles

  After the out of Cai Yu/Fu Haifeng in the first round, top-seeded mixed doubles pair Zheng Bo/Gao Ling was upset by Sudket Prapakamol/Saralee Thoungthongkam in the quarterfinal today. Later on, He Hanbin/Yu Yang, another young pair, was outplayed by British pair Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms, thus there is only one Chinese pair left in the draw of the men's doubles and mixed doubles-Xie Zhongbo/Guo Zhendong and Xie Zhongbo/Zhang Yawen

  In the semifinals tomorrow, Xie/Guo will challenge Malaysian veterans Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah, while Xie/Zhang will take on 2006 champion Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms.

  After the out of Gao/Zheng, Xie, who competed on the men's doubles and mixed doubles courts, signed, "I feel heavy responsibility."