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Defending champion Taufik fails to make third round at Beijing Olympics
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08:26, August 12, 2008

Defending Olympic champion in men's singles Taufik Hidayat from Indonesia was downed by Malaysian veteran Wong Choong Hann 19-21, 16-21 in his first match at the Beijing Olympic Games on Monday.

The Indonesian badminton genius, apparently not in his best form, lost his precision of shots and drops in his debut on the court of Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium, and finally yielded the victory to his old rival Wong, whom he defeated at the Athens Olympics four years ago.

"I really didn't play good today, while Choong Hann exerted his 100 percent strength," said the 7th seed, denying that the dengue fever which obsessed him a couple of weeks ago had affected his fitness.

When asked if it could be his last Olympics, Taufik, who just celebrated his 27th birthday on Sunday said that he hope so.

"I hope junior players could catch up and replace me," he said.

The draw pitted Taufik and Choong Hann head-to-head in the second round was regarded tough to the unseeded Malaysian who, however, didn't think so.

"It was not that bad, as I wasn't pitted against Lin Dan," said Wong, locking his target at the Games at a medal, no matter which color.

In the next round, Wong is expected to meet Nguyen Tien Minh from Vietnam.

"It will be a tough match," said the Malaysian who is very popular among the spectators in the gym.


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