LONDON, (Reuters) – Guatemalan giant-killer Kevin Cordon marched into the third round of the badminton world championships yesterday with an impressive 21-19 21-17 victory over Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen.
Hard on the heels of his stunning first round success over fifth-seed Chen Long of China, Cordon led for most of the match at London’s Wembley Arena, helped by some powerful cross-court smashing to confound the Swede.
Cordon, world-ranked 36, gets his first name after Kevin Keegan who was a favourite soccer player of Cordon’s father. He said: “It’s great to be still alive in the world championships. I was still tired yesterday after the match with Chen Long but I kept my focus and tried to play my best again.”
Since March, Cordon has been playing with the Spanish national team in Madrid. He explained: “It’s easier to practise in Europe, it’s easier to travel and there are more tournaments every week.” On an adjoining court, top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia breezed past Finland’s Ville Lang 21-10 21-11 and will now meet South Korean ninth seed Park Sung-hwan.
Chong Wei told reporters: “I am quite confident because I played him in the Sudirman Cup recently and beat him.”
Defending champion Chen Jin of China and former world titleholders Lin Dan and Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat were in action later on Wednesday.
In the women’s singles, Commonwealth Games champion Saina Nehwal of India put an end to the hopes of Ireland’s Chloe Magee, winning their third round match 21-10 21-7.