ALL ENGLAND 2016 R16 – Chen Long down; Lee/Yoo last men standing for Korea

More World Champions fell as Day 3 continued at the All England, with Chen Long falling to 22-year-old Xue Song, while 2014 World Champions Ko/Shin were among Korea’s devastating 7 […]

More World Champions fell as Day 3 continued at the , with Chen Long falling to 22-year-old Xue Song, while 2014 World Champions Ko/Shin were among Korea’s devastating 7 of 10 losses on Thursday in Birmingham.

By Naomi Indartiningrum, Badzine Correspondent live in Birmingham.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

It was an amazing day in Barclaycard Arena Birmingham. So many magical and surprising moments happen during the second round of All England 2016.  While Chinese shuttlers had a few disappointments among the delights, it was a dismal day overall for the Koreans.

Chen Long sent home by his closest friend

World #1 Chen Long (pictured above) couldn’t make it into the quarter-final after beaten by his best friend, Xue Song. Xue won in straight game 21- 19 21-17. The defending champion looked confident enough in the first game but Xue was just so energetic and moved fast to cover all of the court.

The result of this match – between two men who happened to score their first international title at the same event in Australia, in 2007 and 2013 – is very surprising news for the public but actually Xue Song (pictured) already had strategy figured out to beat his veteran team-mate.

“Actually before the match, when I looked at the draw, I realized that once I’d won the first round I’d be playing Chen Long and I was already thinking that maybe I could beat him and I started to strategize how I could beat him. It’s not just something that happened during the match,” said the young Chinese ace.

After winning the match, the youngster didn’t celebrate it widely because for him, Chen is his closest friend on the team.

“Actually in the team, Chen Long is my closest friend. Our relationship is so close that I think it’s even closer than me and my parents. Maybe our closeness has an impact on our game. We can’t perform perfectly against each other because we already know each other so well. I got lucky tonight,” he added.

In the quarter-final tomorrow, Xue will be facing another 22-year-old, Viktor Axelsen from Denmark. Viktor made it to the next round after sending home Son Wan Ho with dramatic three-game match that ended 21-19, 22-24, 21-12.

Lee/Yoo the last men fighting for Korea

It wasn’t a good day for Korea.  While Korea’s singles and mixed doubles challenges are already completely over, even in men’s doubles, things looked exceedingly shaky.  After Ko Sung Hyun / Shin Baek Cheol and Kim Gi Jung / Kim Sa Rang were dropped by their opponents, Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Song (pictured above) became the last men standing to save Korea’s reputation in the week following the third major all-Korean final in six months.

Lee/Yoo made it into quarter-finals after finishing a dramatic and dangerous 23-25, 22-20, 21-17 win. It was China’s Liu Cheng / Lu Kai – whom the world #1s had beaten last week, as well as in two finals last year – who made them struggle on Thursday night. Liu and Lu were very aggressive from the beginning while the Koreans were not ready yet to play the fast game.

On the other hand, after last week’s winners Ko Sung Hyun / Shin Baek Cheol fell to 3rd-seeded Fu/Zhang, Kim Gi Jung / Kim Sa Rang were sent off by home favourites, Marcus Ellis / Chris Langridge (pictured) also in three games, 14-21 21-15 21-16.

“We played really well today except the first game. We are pretty good today,” said Langridge.

“I’m really, really happy today. From yesterday’s match I got confidence for today and we’ve got a good chance,” add Ellis.

In Friday’s quarter-final, Ellis/Langridge will be facing the World #1 and sole remaining Koreans.

“I hope the crowd will help us tomorrow,” said Chris Langridge of the impending match against Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong.

Click here for complete Thursday results

For a 2013 spotlight on Xue Song by Badzine’s Aaron Wong, click here

Naomi Indartiningrum

About Naomi Indartiningrum

Naomi began as a Badzine Correspondent in 2015, while still a Business Management student living in Jakarta. A badminton enthusiast since 2007, she mostly spends her spare time writing about local badminton events and also maintaining one of largest badminton twitter accounts in Indonesia.