The opening round was without one of China’s golden generation as the Olympics near ever closer as he became the first of a likely series of retirements. Bao Chunlai retired from international badminton today, citing continual knee injuries as the main factor in his decision.
The men’s singles is laden with players claiming this is their final year in the sport. Both Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan have expressed their desire to retire after London 2012, this week they successfully progressed into the second round with Lin Dan needing three games to dispose of Lee Hyun Il of Korea. There were wins for Peter Gade, Chen Jin and Chen Long but the biggest casualty of the day was the 5th seeded Taufik Hidayat who lost to qualifier Chou Tien Chen in three games in easily the shock of the opening days play.
The usual Chinese contingent are still in the women’s singles, without Jiang Yanjiao whose China Masters retirement seems a genuine one to dispel the ideas of China “fixing” matches to get the maximum amount of players to London 2012. Wang Yihan leads the charge this week, with Wang Shixian, Liu Xin and Wang Xin also present in the second round. Only one seed fell in the draw today, Cheng Shao Chieh retired in her match against Sayaka Sato to allow the Japanese player to advance to the second round.
Boe and Mogensen continue their recent run of poor form with another first round defeat to Kawamae and Sato of Japan and will take on the partnership of Lee and Ko. The 5th seeded Jung and Yoo had to retire and allow their Chinese opponents of Liu and Qiu, whilst the top seeds Cai and Fu had little trouble progressing into the second round with a two game victory and will take on qualifiers Liao and Wu.
The women’s doubles has lost the top two seeds, with Wang and Yu pulling out pre-event and the defeat of 2nd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna at the hands of Yixin and Zhong of China. 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa progressed safely in the second round and the other Chinese pair left in the usual stronghold event is the 4th seeded Tian and Zhao who won in three games to reach the second round.
Seven of the eight seeds remain in the mixed doubles with the top seeded Zhang and Zhao taking on Lee and Ha in one of the matches of the second round. Ahmad and Natsir are safely into round two with a two game victory and take on the Chinese pair of Hong and Pan whilst the world championship silver medalists Adcock and Bankier are into the second round to take on the 3rd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the second round.