Taiwan's top badminton players advance at Yonex Thailand Open
Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Taiwan's top ranked badminton players entered the round of 16 at the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok on Wednesday, after winning their opening match.
World No. 2 Chou Tien-chen (周天成) had a rough start against Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (No. 29), losing the first game 16-21, but he rallied 21-10, 21-14 to win the match.
Chou will face Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia (No. 18) next.
Meanwhile, world No. 12 Wang Tzu-wei (王子維) had a close match against Brice Leverdez of France, each winning one game, before the Taiwanese went on to clinch victory 21-12, 14-21, 21-16.
Wang is set to compete next against world No. 8 Angus Ng Ka-long (伍家朗) of Hong Kong, who is the seventh seed at the event.
Wednesday was Wang's first international match since his defeat at the hands of Chou in the quarterfinals at the YONEX All England Open in March 2020, while Chou returned to the international circuit last October at the Danisa Denmark Open.
The top seed in the men's singles at the Bangkok event, world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan, was forced to withdraw after he tested positive for COVID-19 before he left for Thailand.
In the men's doubles, the sixth-seeded Taiwanese pair Lee Yang (李洋) and Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟) beat non-seeded Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 21-13, 21-18.
The 39-minute match was described by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Twitter as "electrifying badminton between these hard-hitting pairs."
It was also Wang Chi-lin and Lee's first international match since the YONEX All England Open, where they were stopped at semifinals.
They are scheduled to face the non-seeded Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren of the host country in the next round.
The Bangkok tournament is the first of three BWF events to be held in the Thai capital, the other two being the Toyota Thailand Open Jan. 19-24 and the rescheduled 2020 World Tour Finals Jan. 27-31.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, China decided to pull out of all three events in Thailand.
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