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It’s Shao Chieh versus the hosts

Taipei’s Cheng Shao Chieh (below), is the sole non-Chinese women’s singles player to reach the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asian Championships (BAC) in Qingdao, China.

The World Championships silver medallist ousted former world champion Wang Lin in three matches, overcoming a first game deficit before registering a 16-21, 21-18, 21-11 victory in 49 minutes.

Joining her in the last eight are Han Li and Chen Xiao Jia, who upset eighth seed Inthanon Ratchanok of Thailand 21-13, 21-15, and fifth seeded Indian Saina Nehwal 21-13, 21-16 respectively.

All the other leading seeds, including world champion Wang Yihan hardly raised a sweat as they coasted into the last eight.

China’s dominance was just as complete in the men’s singles with six of their players in the last eight. Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana and Hong Kong Hu Yun are the only outsiders in the quarter-finals.

Boonsak will take on world champion and top seed Lin Dan for a place in the semi-finals after he defeated Zhou Wenlong 21-14, 21-15. Lin Dan thrashed Hong Kong’s Wei Nan 21-8, 21-18 in his pre-quarter-final match-up.

Hu Yun upset seventh seed Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 23-21, 5-21, 21-17 and now faces 2010 world champion Chen Jin, who ousted Kento Momota of Japan 21-10, 21-10.

It is a lot more opened in the doubles competition with China facing stiff opposition from South Korea and Japan.

Malaysian youngsters Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah (left), are the sole representatives from their country still in any of the draws and they will face sixth seeds Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

The Malaysians turned in one of their more convincing performances by upsetting fourth seeds Fang Chieh Min-Lee Sheng Mu 14-21, 21-16, 21-16. The duo, who had a good outing in the Axiata Cup are hoping to become only the fourth pair from their country to strike gold in the BAC.

Razif Sidek-Jalani Sidek (1992), Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock (1995) and Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (2006 and 2007) are the only other Malaysians to win gold in the men’s doubles competition at the BAC.

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