China put paid to England's chances

BADMINTON
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The Independent Online
England's hopes of pulling off an upset disappeared against China on the opening day of the World Championships in Lausanne yesterday when they went down 4-1 after having taken an early lead, writes James Leigh.

This was supplied by last year's All England mixed double champions, Nick Ponting and Joanne Wright, who beat Liu Jianjun and Wang Xiaoyuan 15-6, 15-8, but there followed straight games defeats in both singles contests and in the men's doubles, which almost certainly consigns England to a relegation struggle in the top group of the Sudirman Cup team event.

Their biggest upset was the 15-12, 17-14 loss for the European men's double champions, Chris Hunt and Simon Archer, against Jiang Xin and Huang Zhangzhong, a pair six places lower in the world at No 12.

Earlier national champion Julia Mann was beaten in her first world championship 11-6, 11-5 by the world No 6, Ye Zhaoying, and the former European champion, Darren Hall, lost 15-9, 15-10 to the former world junior champion, Sun Jun.

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