| LONDON, July 30
LONDON, July 30 Olympians are often tickled to
have top government officials come specially to watch their
performances, but not Taiwan's badminton player Cheng Shao-chieh
who regarded a visiting minister's support at Wembley Arena as
an unwelcome distraction.
Cheng, seeded seventh in the women's singles, was a
comfortable 21-11 21-9 winner over Austria's Simone Prutsch in
her preliminary round match on Monday, with Taiwan's sports
minister Tai Hsia-ling watching appreciatively from the crowd.
"That is definitely a negative and that is added pressure,"
Cheng, who won silver at the world championships at the same
venue last year, told reporters.
The pint-sized 26-year-old, a genuine medal threat in London
in her third Games appearance, was unaware of whether her family
were watching her matches back in Taiwan and sounded content to
go it alone.
"I don't know. I am always abroad playing matches and I
don't really talk to my family except to say when I made it to
the airport," she added.
The badminton continues at Wembley Arena until Aug. 5.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)