By Preechachan Wiriyanupappong
Three Thai players eased into the women's singles quarter-finals of the US$400,000 Li Ning China Masters Badminton Super Series in Changzhou, with teen sensation Ratchanok Intanon beating Japanese Nozomi Okuhara 21-17 21-15 yesterday.
A daunting task now awaits the world No 10 and fifth seed in the shape of world No 1, top seed and London Games silver medallist Wang Yihan of China, who has a 5-0 head-to-head record against the Thai.
Team-mate Busanan Ongbumrungpan also advanced to the last eight following 21-18 23-21 win over seventh-seeded Singaporean Gu Juan. Busanan next faces China’s fourth-seeded Jiang Yanjiao, while Sapsiree Taerattanachai overpowered Chinese sixth seed Liu Xin 22-20 21-8 to book a quarter-final against Japan’s Mitani Minatsu.
Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, world No 14 and recent Vietnam Open winner, lost a thrilling battle 21-10 7-21 19-21 to India’s PV Sindhu.
In the men’s doubles, Maneepong Jongjit recovered from the upset stomach that forced him to retire during the mixed doubles a few hours earlier to pair up with Bodin Issara as fourth-seeds and crush Singapore’s Yong Zhao Ashton Chen and Zi Liang Derek Wong 21-9 21-13 for a quarter-final berth. Team-mates Songphon Anugritayawon and Sudket Prapakamol made the cut, following their walkover in yesterday’s second round.
Maneepong, partnering with Savitree Armitrapai as fourth seeds in the mixed doubles, was forced to conceded the match to China’s Liu Cheng and Luo Yu.
Earlier on Wednesday, Thailand’s world No 25 and Singapore Open champion Boonsak Ponsana suffered a humiliating singles first-round loss, 21-11 16-21 12-21, to Malaysian Wei Feng Chong, while team-mate Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk lost the first game 11-21 to Chinese seventh seeded Wang Zhengming then retired in the second game.