China’s world number one mixed doubles pair was given a scare in the first round of the badminton world championships yesterday after dropping the first game in an intense clash.
Top-ranked Ma Jin and Xu Chen lost their opening game in Guangzhou 18-21 to unseeded Danish pair Mads Pieler Kolding and Kamilla Rytter Juhl, who found answers to their trademark nimble play and dynamite smashes.
The home crowd fell into a nervous hush as the Danish pair went up 10-6 in the second, but the Chinese duo pulled it back to take the game 21-17.
The Chinese number ones eventually took victory in just under an hour, pumping their fists and shouting as they won the third game 21-13.
Mixed doubles third-seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia beat Malaysia’s Jian Guo Ong and Yin Loo Lim 21-14, 21-11 in their first-round match.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2013.
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