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Olympic defending badminton champion Zhang Ning advances into last 16
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13:58, August 10, 2008

Defending champion Zhang Ning of China advanced into the last 16 at the badminton tournament of the Beijing Olympic Games by beating Salakjit Ponsana from Thailand on Sunday.

Zhang won the match at 21-23, 21-17, 21-7.

It was not an easy match for the 33-year-old defending champion as she was troubled by injuries and the Thai shuttler was quick and consistent.

Zhang, who got a bye in the first round of women's singles as the No. 2 seed, said "I had expected a difficult match even before it started. Ponsana was a very good player."

Zhang said she were not in form until the second game, "I used wrong tactics for the first game when I tried to take control of the rhythm with drops."

Ponsana, on her part, said Zhang took the advantage of her height and was very fast on the court. The world No. 29 is 1.6 meters tall and Zhang stands at 1.75 meters.

A total of 47 players are competing in the women's singles. China has the world's No. 1 Xie Xingfang, No. 2 Lu Lan and No. 7 Zhang Ning for the discipline.


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