Wang Yihan of China returns the shuttle against Michele Li of Canada during the women's singles badminton match at London 2012 Olympic Games, London, Britain, July 30, 2012. Wang Yihan won the match 21-8, 21-16. (Xinhua/Tang Shi)
LONDON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Wang Yihan and Wang Xin, Chinese shuttlers competing in women's singles, beat their rivals in their first competitions in the London Olympic arena Monday morning.
Wang Yihan was playing Michelle Li, 21, from Canada.
The first game was a short one, when the world's No. 1 seed from China dominated on the court and brought down Li 21-8.
In the second game, however, the more aggressive Li created bigger trouble for Yihan, and one could imagine how intensified the contest was from their scores rising as seesaw: 6-6, 7-7, 9-9, 14-14 and 15-15. But the 24-year-old ruling world champion showed enough patience, waiting for her opponent to strike the shuttlecock out of the court.
"I think my form is OK and the Canadian player did quite well," Yihan said after the competition. "I made some mistakes and we were once in a deadlock. The difficulty came as a warning to me and I will pay more attention later."
The much-awaited Yihan played on the third day of the badminton events in west London's Wembley Arena.
"During the past two days I saw my teammates playing, and I asked when is my turn. In fact, I was very eager to play," she said. "I couldn't feel anything of the Olympics, even when I look at the Olympic rings. This is just a ordinary competition for me."
Her words were echoed by her teammate Wang Xin, who also played her opener here on Monday.
Competition for Xin seemed much easier, when she kicked out her opponent, Rena Wang from the United States, 21-8 and 21-6.
The Asian Games silver-medallist said she couldn't wait to appear on the Olympic court. "I have played in the Asian Games but this time it was different. As we live far from the Olympic village, I could hardly feel the atmosphere of sports gala."
The Olympic village, in east London, was far from Wembley Arena and a ride by subway would take an hour. Therefore the Chinese badminton team decided to live in a hotel near the arena.
"I will be careful while playing but will aim too high at the beginning. After all I am not quite used to playing here," she said.
Yihan and Xin were among China's three "Wang"s echelon. According to the draw earlier this month, both of them have just one rival in their preliminary group, which means their victories on Monday were enough to lift them to the round of 16, where they will be joining the third Chinese shuttler Li Xuerui.