Badminton: Chen seals the victory

Click to follow
CHEN GANG, the world junior champion, gave China a winning 3-0 lead over England in the first of the six-match series at Carlisle last night and showed that the visitors are well on the way to becoming a major force in the game again, writes James Leigh.

Chen trailed 8-9 in the first game and 5-7 in the second to Colin Haughton, the 21-year- old from Manchester, but, when he needed to, the Chinese player was able to carve out openings at the net for his fierce smash. The 17-year-old went on to win 15-10, 15-8.

Earlier, Joanne Muggeridge, England's No 1 women's singles player, had found life even harder against Xu Li, aged 18. Xu was too nimble in defence and deceptive with overhead drop shots and won 11-5, 11-5.

England also lost the mixed doubles when Sarah Hardaker, an 18-year-old from Kent making her England debut, and John Quinn lost 15-9, 15-12 to Liu Yong and Li Qi. China went on to win 4-1, with the only England success coming in the women's doubles.

INTERNATIONAL SERIES (Carlisle) England 1 China 4 (England names first): Women's singles: J Muggeridge lost to Xu Li 5-11 5-11. Mixed doubles: J Quinn and S Hardaker lost to Liu Yong and Li Qi 9-15 12-15. Men's singles: C Haughton lost to Chen Gang 10-15 8-15. Women's doubles: Muggeridge and G Gowers bt Yao Jie and Zeng Ya Qiong 13-15 15-7 15-7. Men's doubles: N Cottrill and J Robertson lost to Liu Yong and Yu Jin Hao 12-15 6-15.