Sixteen of the 20 competitors hail from the home nation of China in the Asian Championships as they reach the semi final stage, with a few forgotten names in the mix. Lu Lan has returned to her 2009 form and has shocked another seed on her route to the last 4.
The men’s singles has turned into an all-Chinese competition, with 3rd seeded Boonsak Ponsana losing out to Bao Chunlai in two tight games followed soon after by Tien Minh Nguyen who was defeated by another higher seeded player in Du Pengyu. Lin Dan defeated the last of the non-Chinese players in his three game victory over Sho Sasaki to set up his semi final with the 6th seeded Du Pengyu. 2nd seeded Chen Long defeated Wang Zhengming to reach the last 4 where he will take on Bao Chunlai for a place in Sunday’s final.
Cheng Shao Chieh is the remaining hope to defeat the Chinese stranglehold on the singles titles with her victory over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk. Her task to reach the final is a victory over the 2nd seeded Wang Yihan who has been impressive this week, without dropping a game to date. The other semi final is an all-Chinese matchup between the 5th seeded Jiang Yanjiao, who defeated Lin Xiu 23-21 in their deciding game in the quarter final and the unseeded Lu Lan who has returned to the form that seen her become world champion less than two years ago. Her closely fought two game victory over Li Xuerui was her second victory over a Chinese seeded player this week.
Cai and Fu have been highly impressive in the men’s doubles without losing a game to date this week, however they face their toughest task in their all-Chinese semi final against Xu and Zhang, seeded 6 who defeated the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan to book their place in the last 4. Chai and Guo, seeded 5 are the third of the Chinese pairs in the last 4 and take on the Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Hirata, seeded 8 this week and also defeated the 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan to reach the semi final stage.
Cheng and Chien’s run ended today in the women’s doubles, as the top seeds lost out to the 6th seeded Tian and Zhao in front of a partizan home crowd which ensured a third pair in the last 4 for China. Tian and Zhao’s opponents in the last 4 are the sole non-Chinese pairing of Kim and Ha, seeded 5th who defeated the 3rd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna to reach the semi final. 8th seeded Bao and Zhong have the tough task of taking on the 2nd seeded Wang and Yu who again were impressive in their 21-6, 21-18 victory over the 7th seeded Matsuo and Naito of Japan.
Zhang and Zhao’s run to date has not seen them take on a seed, with tomorrow’s match being no different as they take on the unseeded pair of Hong and Pan, who defeated the Japanese qualifiers of Sato and Matsuo to set up the all-Chinese semi final. The 8th seeded Ma and Xu defeated the lower ranked Tao and Tian to reach the semi finals, with a three game victory over the 3rd seeds. Their reward is a semi final match against the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand, who have failed to drop a game to date this week but were taken to a 29-27 game against the 6th seeded Lee and Chien in their quarter final match.
Quarter Final Results: