Chen gives short shrift to veteran Sony

China's Chen Long hits a return against Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro during their World Championships second-round match in Glasgow. The fifth seed won 21-13, 21-9.
China's Chen Long hits a return against Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro during their World Championships second-round match in Glasgow. The fifth seed won 21-13, 21-9.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

GLASGOW • Defending champion Chen Long of China continued his fine form with a 21-13, 21-9 victory over Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the second round of badminton's World Championships in Glasgow yesterday.

It was the Chinese fifth seed's second straight-game win following an easy 21-7, 21-9 first-round defeat of Mauritius' Georges Julien Paul on Tuesday.

Chen said later that a key factor for his victory could be him being five years younger than the 33-year-old Sony, who is no longer in the national squad set-up.

"I feel that he still has his skills, but on the whole it seems like there is a difference because he is older, and may not have a systematic training regimen," Chen said.

"If he were faster, he could have hit one or two good points. But he lost points very quickly."

The 28-year-old added that he does not feel the pressure he felt when he won the World Championships in Jakarta two years ago.

"Now that I think about it, my target is the same every time," he said.

"I understand that if I want to be the champion, I'll just have to play well in every match and not worry too much."

During the match, Chen was seen with a bandage around his right thigh. But he clarified it was more of a preventive measure due to his strenuous training sessions, as opposed to an injury.

In another second-round match, five-time champion Lin Dan of China came from behind to overcome a determined Danish world No. 39 Emil Holst 19-21, 21-8, 21-16.

In the men's doubles, Chinese top seeds Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen suffered a shock exit at the same stage.

After a bye in the first round, the pair met their match in new Indonesian pairing Mohammad Ahsan and Rian Agung Saputro, who came from behind to win 19-21, 21-18, 21-18.

"They were faster than us today," reflected Liu. "And they did better in the long rallies."

Li said they would draw on the experience for the future.

"We were unlucky to lose," he said. "All three games were very close. But this has been a good experience and we must work harder."

Malaysian fifth seeds Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong, the Olympic silver medallists, followed them out when they fell 18-21, 16-21 to unheralded South Koreans Chung Eui Seok and Kim Duk Young.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2017, with the headline 'Chen gives short shrift to veteran Sony'. Print Edition | Subscribe