SPORTS

Hidayat sets up last-16 showdown with Lin in clash of Olympic badminton champs

07/31/2012 10:02 EDT | Updated 09/30/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia woke up in time to account for Pablo Abian of Spain 22-20, 21-11 and set up a clash of Olympic badminton champions with Lin Dan in the last 16 at Wembley Arena on Tuesday.

Hidayat didn't enjoy starting the group decider at 9:20 a.m. He blew a 19-17 lead and had to save a game point at 20-19, but controlled the rest of his first matchup with Abian.

"I never play early mornings, I'm not an early morning person," Hidayat said. "My body is still adjusting. Because I play too early, it's like I'm still sleeping."

Hidayat, the gold medallist in Athens eight years ago, will face Beijing champion Lin. The mercurial Hidayat won their early matches, but he last beat Lin in the 2006 Asian Games final in Doha. The Chinese star has won all nine matches since, including in the All England Open quarterfinals in February.

"I'll need to prepare more. It's going to be a good match," Hidayat promised. But when asked if he was still good enough to beat Lin, Hidayat said, "Before, not now ... we'll see."

Also, Kashyap Parupalli of India upset world championships quarterfinalist Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 21-9, 21-14 for the first time in two years, and will play Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka in the last 16.

In women's play, Taiwanese pair Cheng Shao-chieh and Tai Tzu-ying, plus Juan Gu of Singapore won their groups to make the last 16, where Cheng and Gu meet.

In women's doubles, Toronto duo Alex Bruce and Michelle Li are 0-3 in their group after losing 21-8, 21-10 to Russians Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova.

MORE:cpSports