Sports News

Badminton: South Korea's Son advances in world championships

(Reuters) - Badminton world number one Son wan-ho eased past Finland’s Kalle Koljonen 21-14 21-16 in the opening round of the BWF World Championships in Glasgow on Monday.

Slideshow ( 5 images )

The South Korean top seed dismantled Koljonen, ranked number 72 in the world, in 44 minutes at the Emirates arena. In the second round, the 29-year-old Son takes on the winner of the match between Austria’s Vilson Vattanirappel and Hungary’s Gergely Krausz.

China’s Lin Dan began his quest for a sixth world title with a commanding display against Kieran Merrilees. The 33-year-old seventh seed downed the local hopeful 21-15 21-10

Eighth-seeded Indian Kidambi Srikanth got his campaign off to a smooth start with a 21-13 21-12 victory against Russia’s Sergey Sirant in 29 minutes.

“In big events, the first rounds are always tough... this victory is a confidence-booster,” Srikanth, who returned to action after back-to-back Superseries wins in Indonesia and Australia this year, said.

Wong Wing-ki, the 12th seed from Hong Kong, powered into the second round with 21-15 21-11 victory against Egypt’s Ahmed Salah.

Not all for the fancied players enjoyed routine wins. Thailand’s 11th seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk had to fight back from a game down to defeat Dutchman Nick Fransman 20-22 21-12 21-6.

Malaysia’s three-time world championships silver medallist Lee Chong Wei begins his campaign on Tuesday against Frenchman Brice Leverdez. China’s defending champion Chen Long is up against Georges Julien Paul from Mauritius.

In the women’s draw, Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt knocked out Ukraine’s Maria Ulitina 21-15 21-19 to set up a clash with Japanese top seed Akane Yamaguchi.

Malaysia’s Rui Chen Yap despatched Australia’s Hsuan-Yu Chen 21-19 21-11 and awaits Thailand’s world number eight Ratchanok Intanon in the second round. Hong Kong’s Yip Pui-yin set up a match against defending champion Carolina Marin.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Neil Robinson