Top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia easily beat compatriot Wong Choong Hann in the inaugural badminton Super Series Masters Finals yesterday.
Lee hardly broke sweat, needing only 23 minutes to dispose of the aging Wong 21-14, 21-13.
The Olympic silver medalist was due to take on a tougher opponent, Denmark’s Peter Gade, in another Group A match late yesterday.
Gade beat Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit 21-15, 21-17.
The season-ending Super Series Masters Finals began yesterday in Kota Kinabalu in the eastern state of Sabah. It offers a total purse of US$500,000.
Group B was where the action was, with a thriller between Indonesians Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Taufik Hidayat, which eventually saw Kuncoro clinch victory.
Hidayat, returning to the game only a week after suffering a wrist injury, delighted the crowd with a 25-23 win in the first game, but Kuncoro had it easy in the second, winning 21-14. Kuncoro won the deciding game 21-11.
Meanwhile No. 3 seed Joachim Persson of Denmark beat eighth seed Andrew Smith of England 21-14, 14-21, 21-12.
In the men’s doubles Jung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae of South Korea beat England’s Chris Adcock and Robert Blair in three sets while Koo Kien Kiat and Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia earned a straight sets victory against Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
In the women’s singles, third-seeded Wang Chen of Hong Kong caused a stir when she beat compatriot and top seed Zhou Mi 21-12, 21-15 in a Group A match.
Xu Huaiwen of Germany beat Yu Hirayama of Japan.
In the women’s doubles Indonesians Lilyana Natsir and Vita Marissa beat Thailand’s Duang Anong and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul 21-16, 21-18.
The sight of Japanese fans at a World Cup bagging trash after a match — win or lose — always surprises non-Japanese. Japanese players are famous for doing the same in their team dressing room: hanging up towels, cleaning the floor and even leaving a thank-you note. The behavior is driving social media posts at the World Cup in Qatar, but it is nothing unusual for Japanese fans or players. They are simply doing what most people in Japan do — at home, at school, at work or on streets from Tokyo to Osaka, Shizuoka to Sapporo. “For Japanese people, this is
Portugal players idolize Cristiano Ronaldo, with many saying it is a “dream” to play with him, but young forward Goncalo Ramos on Saturday joked that he would not accept a piece of chewing gum from his compatriot. Ronaldo, who scored a penalty in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday, was pictured chewing gum he had pulled out of the front of his shorts during the game. The 37-year-old striker, without a club after an acrimonious split from Manchester United this week, became the first player ever to score at five World Cups. “Of course not,” laughed Ramos at a news conference, when
Normally, it would be horrible news to soccer fans anywhere that their team’s star player was injured. Yet even as they endured an anguished wait for a Neymar-less Brazil to score in their 1-0 win over Switzerland on Monday, some Brazilians found it hard to miss the injured superstar, who has promised to dedicate his first FIFA World Cup goal to far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Watching the match in a packed bar in central Rio de Janeiro, where fans decked out in yellow and green waited nervously for what turned out to be the lone goal — scored in the 83rd
Qatar’s top World Cup official on Tuesday said that more than 400 migrant workers died in labor accidents in the country in the years leading up to the tournament. Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, gave the figure of 400 to 500 in a British television interview when asked how many workers had died “doing work for the World Cup.” The organizing committee said his response referred to “national statistics covering the period of 2014-2020 for all work-related fatalities” in Qatar “covering all sectors and nationalities.” It said there were 414 worker deaths over the eight-year period. Migrant