Malaysia`s Lee makes ideal start to worlds

London: Lee Chong Wei`s bid to become Malaysia`s first world badminton champion and prevent China holding on to all five world titles got off to a winning start Monday with 21-15, 21-17 victory win over Thailand`s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.

Despite his win at the Wembley Arena that will host the Olympic badminton competition next year, Lee felt his performance against his 31st-ranked opponent included "too many mistakes."

"Sometimes this happens and you play better in the second round," added Lee, who has won five titles in six tournaments this year. "This is also my sixth world championships, so perhaps that will be my lucky number."

His main rival for the world title, three-time former champion Lin Dan of China, starts Tuesday against Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania.

Earlier, Indonesia`s former world champion Taufik Hidayat was on sparkling form in a 21-10, 21-14 win over Peru`s Rodrigo Pacheco Carrillo. Hidayat showed his full repertoire of net shots, disguised drops, tenacious defending, overhead attacks and one stunning backhand half-smash winner.

"I was just warming up today," he said. "Maybe I will play better than in the last tournaments. And ... I like the arena."

Bureau Report

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