INCHEON, South Korea (AFP) – World number one Li Xuerui led China into the Asian Games women’s team badminton semi-finals on Saturday as they enjoyed a crushing 3-0 win over Malaysia.
The Chinese women had a bye in the first round and they made short work of Malaysia, with the longest match running to just 41 minutes.
Li defeated Tee Jing Yi 21-9, 21-8 while doubles pairs Zhao Yunlei and Tian Quing, and Wang Shixian and Yang Yi Liang, did not drop a game. China will meet Japan – who also had a bye – in the semi-final on Sunday after they trounced Indonesia 3-0.
The closest contest in the women’s team quarters was an India-Thailand nailbiter which went to a fifth-match doubles decider after Saina Nehwal took down world number five and former world champion Ratchanok Intanon.
India finally clinched the contest and will meet South Korea in their semi-final, after they took a 3-0 victory over Taiwan.
Badminton giants Lin Dan and Lee Chong-Wei are yet to set foot in the Gyeyang gymnasium as both China and Malaysia were given byes into the men’s team quarter-finals on Sunday. China will take on Hong Kong and Malaysia will face Nepal.
But an excited crowd gave a heroes’ welcome to home-grown gold medal hopes Lee Yong-Dae and Yoo Yeon-Seong, who helped South Korea through to the next round of the men’s team competition.
The men’s doubles world number ones gave a master-class in agility and power in their first-round match against India’s Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy Buss.
The South Korean team won their clash 3-0 and will play Japan Sunday.
Indonesia will take on Taiwan in the other men’s team quarter-final after they beat Thailand 3-0.