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August 12, 2009

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Taufik cruises, Tago pulls an upset at worlds

FORMER world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat advanced to the second round of the world championships in India with a 21-14, 21-14 win over Christian Boesiger of Switzerland yesterday.

The veteran Indonesian, winner of the 2004 Athens Olympics gold medal and the 2005 world championships, needed only 27 minutes to sweep past Boesiger in the first round.

Ninth-seeded Yu Hsing-hseih of Chinese Taipei had to struggle for a 21-14, 19-21, 24-22 win over local hope Arvind Bhat in an hour and two minutes.

Japan's Kenichi Tago rallied for an upset 16-21, 21-14, 21-13 win over seventh-seeded Joachim Persson of Denmark. Park Sung-hwan, the No. 8 seed from South Korea, needed 55 minutes to oust Steinar Klausen of Norway 19-21, 21-13, 21-18, while No. 16 Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand held off Lithuania's Kestutis Navickas 21-14, 14-21, 21-17.

Top-seeded Lee Chong Wei and defending world and Olympic champion Lin Dan advanced on Monday.

In women's singles, No. 9 Wang Chen of Hong Kong beat Chinese Taipei's Chen Hsiao-huan 21-19, 21-10. No. 12 Hwang Hye-youn and No. 13 Pui Yin Yip also advanced.

Meanwhile, a Malaysian coach was quarantined here with swine flu symptoms, while a doubles pair from Thailand pulled out of a match after one of them complained of fever.

K. Subhakar, a government official, told reporters that a member of the Malaysian coaching staff had been admitted to the regional chest hospital after displaying H1N1 virus symptoms.

A spokesman also said an unnamed doubles player from Thailand was taken to hospital later in the day.

Eight people have died of swine flu in India, with hundreds infected. The southern state of Andhra Pradesh, of which Hyderabad is the capital, has so far recorded 76 cases.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) expressed confidence in the situation at India's first hosting of the championships.

"We don't see any reason for any major concerns, but we have assured the players that we will manage the situation over the rest of the tournament and make sure that none of the players are in any danger," BWF chief operating officer Thomas Lund told a news conference.

"In the world today, this issue is not uncommon," Lund added. "All the players travel on a weekly basis, they are facing these issues on a weekly basis in airports wherever they go. We have not received any particular concerns from any particular players."


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