ALL ENGLAND 2012 R16 – Old Taufik is back!

Taufik Hidayat played some of his best badminton to beat Chen Jin and set himself up for a quarter-final clash against Lin Dan. By Raphael Sachetat, live from Birmingham. Photos: […]

Taufik Hidayat played some of his best badminton to beat Chen Jin and set himself up for a quarter-final clash against Lin Dan.

By Raphael Sachetat, live from Birmingham. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

When Peter Gade was beaten in the first round of the Yonex , a quick calculation showed that Chen Jin only needed to qualify for the quarter-final of this same event to pass him in the Olympic qualification race (see here), and enter the top 4.

In other words, tonight was a good chance for the former World Champion to qualify for his second Olympics. But this wasn’t to be, as Taufik Hidayat played marvelous badminton tonight in front of a strong crowd of knowledgeable spectators to beat his Chinese nemesis

The Indonesian looked very eager to win. He was taking his time serving, being very patient in the rallies, waiting for good opportunities to place his hard smashes down the line, and, most of all, he was back at his usual net sharpness. Chen Jin put up a good fight in both games, but Taufik was in the lead by a small margin all along, and closed it up 21-19, 21-19.

“I was really motivated to beat Chen Jin. First because I hadn’t beaten him in 5 years, and also because I felt sad for Peter Gade to lose in the first round, so I was even more motivated to beat Chen Jin to save his fourth spot in the world ranking,” said the soft-spoken Indonesian.

“I feel good here – anyways, much better than last year, where I was going down a big mountain. I’ve been able to practice well for this tournament that I’ve never won. Now, we’ll see against Lin Dan tomorrow…”

Chen Jin is now still just under 1000 points short of Peter Gade, but he will get other opportunities to close in on the Dane, who has the same points to be dropped if either one were to win his continental championship, make it to the semi-finals of the India Open, or win in Switzerland next week. Chen Jin has an advantage in playing the Australian Open in which Peter Gade is not scheduled to play. Both players are neck-and-neck and all is uncertain about Chen Jin’s qualification yet. One thing is sure, however: if Taufik plays like he did on Thursday, the spectators are in for a wonderful show between himself and Lin Dan.

More fun for England

If the crowds in Birmingham were thrilled by the men’s singles display, they got another kind of treat late in the evening when a second mixed pair booked their quarter-final ticket.  This time, it was Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork who stunned Japan Open champions and world #5 Chen Hung Ling / Cheng Wen Hsing of Chinese Taipei in two straight games to reach their first quarter-final since last spring’s Singapore Open.

Britain now joins Denmark as the only nation to place two pairs in the mixed doubles quarter-finals.  Korea lost their two remaining pairs in the second round and for China, only defending champions Xu/Ma made it through their first two matches.

All results HERE

Click here for live streamed coverage of the All England from the BWF’s Youtube channel

If you are coming for the Championships, or whenever you visit Birmingham, try Badzine’s partner hotel, the City Nites Apartments. Offering fully-serviced apartments, it is a stylish setting for long or short-term business people and visitors, and a great place to stay during the All England Championships.

CLICK HERE to make a reservation at the City Nites

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.