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All England Badminton: China’s world champions Chen/Jia suffer first-round loss

Birmingham : China’s world champions Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan were ousted from the first round of the women’s doubles event at the All England Badminton Open on Wednesday.Chen and Jia had played a marathon final just three days ago as they clinched the title at the German Open by edging Bulgarian sisters Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva after more than 100 minutes of play.The Chinese top seeds were obviously not in form physically and they were beaten by world No. 64 pairing of Jeong Naeun and Kim Hyejeong of South Korea in 21-15, 21-16.The men’s singles top seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark only struggled for a moment in the first game as he lost a four-point advantage to fall behind India’s B. Sai Praneeth 19-18 in the match played on Wednesday night. But the Olympic champion pulled himself together soon to win the opening game 22-20 before nailing the second 21-11, reports Xinhua.

“It feels great to be back and to see all the fans back in the stands,” Axelsen was quoted as saying by the tournament’s official website. “I have great memories from here now, it’s one of the biggest tournaments of the year and one of my biggest dreams coming true to win it. Hopefully, I can try to do that one more time.”Axelsen won the All England title in 2020 and reached the final last year. He will face Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands in the second round.In the women’s singles, top seed Tai Tzu-Ying from Chinese Taipei saw off Belgium’s Lianne Tan 21-12, 21-14.India’s two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and 2012 London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal too advanced to the second round.



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