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September 19, 2000
Chinese women shuttlers shineAndy Browne
China's women badminton stars swept all before them at the Olympics on Tuesday, but their coach was not letting them get too confident.
Three Chinese pairs made it through to the quarter-finals in crushing style.
But while head coach Li Youngbo was clearly impressed with the performance, he made clear he was pushing for more -- and he would not be drawn on the team's medal prospects.
"I'm basically happy, but not completely. There are still areas in which we can do better," Li said.
If the Chinese have weaknesses, their opponents did not manage to spot them.
Top-seeded Gu Jun and Ge Fei demolished their South Korean opponents Yim Kyung-jin and Lee Hyo-jung 15-3, 15-5.
Gao Ling and Qin Yiyuan, seeded sixth, got the job done just as easily, sweeping aside Haruko Matsuda and Yoshiko Iwata from Japan 15-5, 15-5.
But the most one-sided contest came when second-seeded Huang Nanyan and Yang Wei took apart the Thai pair Sujitra Eakmongkolpaisarn and Saralee Toongthongkam 15-1, 15-4.
Joanne Goode and Donna Kellogg, seeded fourth, added to Britain's badminton success story in Sydney by overcoming the Canadian pair Milaine Cloutier and Robbyn Hermitage 15-4, 15-10.
"We are a lot physically fitter than them. We have played against them twice and beaten them. But our next opponents are going to be a lot faster, stronger and fitter."
They meet Gao and Qin in the quarter-finals.
Gao was on top of her form -- and said she soon expected to be on top of the world.
"I'd love to win a gold medal," she said.
"If I perform as normal I should be fine. I don't think we've got pressure."
In the women's singles, China's Dai Yun beat South Korea's Kim Ji-hyun 11-3, 11-4 and Ye Zhaoying made quick work of Huang Chia-chia from Taipei 11-3, 11-4.
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