Badminton: China give no quarter

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND'S chances of levelling the scores in the series against China faded after a disappointing defeat for the European men's doubles champions, Chris Hunt and Simon Archer, at Bletchley last night, writes James Leigh.

The enthusiastic young visiting team went on to take a winning 3-1 lead in the fourth match and also to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

Hunt and Archer were beaten 15-13, 15-9 by Chen Wei and Yang Ming, who were smaller, but nimbler and surprisingly almost as penetrating in attack.

The taller and more powerful home pair smashed and jabbed their way back from 8-14 to 13-14 in the first game but could not keep the momentum going, and the Chinese pair found ways of eliciting errors from the English, particularly Hunt.

The coup de grace was then applied in the women's singles in which Xu Li was too accurate and well balanced for Tanya Groves, a 24-year-old part-timer from Sussex who was making her England debut and was beaten 11-8 11-3.