Champion Hidayat crashes, Lee into semis

Double defending badminton champion Taufik Hidayat crashed out of the Asian Games on Friday while world number one Lee Chong Wei cruised into the semi-finals.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 19 Nov 2010, 11:49 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:04 AM

Indonesian ace Hidayat, the champion in 2002 and 2006, was sent packing by Park Sung-Hwan, the world number 11 who shocked Chinese superstar Lin Dan at the world championships in Paris in August.

Park took an early lead against an out-of-sorts Hidayat, the world number three, and never looked back, winning their last-eight clash 21-15, 21-16.

The South Korean collapsed on the court in victory, banging his fists on the floor. Hidayat looked numb.

“I don’t feel anything right now,” said Hidayat, a former Olympic champion.

“I didn’t feel very good day and I played badly. I don’t want to give any excuses for why I lost, I just lost,” added the talented but temperamental Hidayat.

“Usually, if I lose but I play well I can accept it, but today I played badly,” he said, adding: “Park was the better player.”

Park said: “This is the first time I have beaten Hidayat, which greatly increases my confidence, it was a wonderful match for me.

“I performed to 70 t0 80 percent of my ability and I stuck firmly to my strategy, which was the main factor in my victory.”

Park will face either Lin or Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh in the semis. They play later Friday.

Lee was down early against Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana, who beat the Malaysian star in the men’s team event on Saturday, trailing 6-2.

But the 28-year-old top seed battled back to lead 10-8 and then pulled away to win the opener 21-13 and the second game 21-17.

The Malaysian, who has complained of back and ankle injuries in the lead-up to the Games, said he was his “own worst enemy”.

“It’s there when I come out on the court,” he said of the niggling injuries. “But when I’m out on court I forget about it and it’s not a big thing.

“This event is only every four years and I’m not sure whether I will be around for the next one,” Lee added, underlining the motivation to win gold in Guangzhou.

He will face China’s Chen Jin or Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen in the last four.

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