OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992: Hall faces a tough task: Badminton

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The Independent Online
DARREN HALL, of Britain, is set to face the world champion and top seed, Zhao Jianhua of China, in the second round of the Olympic badminton tournament.

First, though, Hall - ranked 15 in the world - must beat Canada's David Humble in the first round.

Hall, 26, was the 1988 European champion and has held the English national title five times and if he overcomes Humble, he can be expected to make things tough for the world champion, who has a bye into the second round. Although he has never beaten Jianhua, Hall is a noted battler.

In the women's draw, Britain's Helen Troke faces another world champion, the No 2 seed, Tang Jiuhong of China, in a second-round match. Troke has a bye in the first round.

Ciro Ciniglio, the British team manager, said of the task facing Troke and Hall: 'It's a tough draw for us.'

Anders Nielsen, the national champion who is ranked 24 in the world, will play Thailand's Sompal Kukasemkij, ranked 25, in the men's singles first round.

In the women's draw, Jo Muggeridge plays France's Christelle Mol in the first round.

Carl Prean, the 24-year-old England No 1, has been seeded in the top 16 for the men's singles at the table tennis event, but Oxford University student Matthew Syed has a difficult draw - in the same group as the world champion, Joergen Persson, of Sweden, and Nicolas Chatelain of France.

Lisa Lomas, who recently reached the final of the European Championships in Stuttgart, has not been seeded and is in a section which is headed by Csilla Batorfi, the world No 12 from Hungary.

Alison Gordon is unfortunately in the same group as Li Bun Hui, the North Korean world No 5.

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