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HK's bitter-sweet badminton win

Chan Kin-wa in Beijing
August 10,2008

Hong Kong's Wang Chen returns a shot from Eva Sladekova of Slovakia on her way to winning her first round women's singles badminton match 21-7, 21-8.   Robert Ng

Wang Chen cruised into the third round of the badminton competition last night, then lamented the early exit of teammate Yip Pui-yin.

"With her playing alongside, I can have someone to talk to and look for encouragement when necessary," said Hong Kong's No 1, who beat Slovakian Eva Sladekova 21-7, 21-8. "I feel really sorry for her, but she is still young and she should have a lot of opportunities in future."

Yip, 21, featured with Wang in an all-Hong Kong final at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, which Wang won.

At 32, Wang admitted this would be her last chance of winning an Olympic medal after a disappointing quarter-final loss in Athens.

Wang was not fully satisfied with her win last night, saying she was tense after receiving a bye in the first round as the fourth seed.

"This is the Olympics, the biggest tournament and I need time to settle," she said. "There should be room for improvement as the tournament goes on."

Wang will meet Saina Nehwal of India today. Wang beat her in the China Open last year.

In swimming, Sherry Tsai Hiu-wai failed to reach the 100m backstroke semi-finals after finishing fifth in her heat and teammate Stephanie Au Hoi-shun also failed to progress in the 400m freestyle.

In rowing, So Sau-wah and Chow Kwong-wing came fourth in their men's lightweight double sculls heat and will now need to fight it out in the repechage.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's windsurfers will take to the waters in Qingdao today.

Team manager Daniel Lam Wing-chung said Chan King-yin and Vicky Chan Wai-kei were both ready for the challenge.

"There will be a wind speed of eight knots, according to the forecast, and we should be able to start two races as scheduled," Lam said. "We are looking forward to the beginning of the regatta."

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