London: Asia's badminton powers flexed their muscles on day two of the London Games tournament on Sunday, as Britain's strongest medal hopes tearfully crashed out of contention.

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China's world number three Chen Long survived an enthralling tussle with Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana in the men's singles, coming back from 15-10 down in the second set to win 21-12, 21-17 and advance to the knockout rounds at Wembley Arena.

Compatriot and fellow world number three Li Xuerui joined Chen in the last 16 of the women's singles shortly after, having demolished Spain's Carolina Marin 21-13, 21-11.

China's men and women's doubles also completed convincing victories, keeping the Asian nation on track for a historic sweep after winning three of the five titles on offer at the Beijing Games.

It was all doom and gloom for home hopes Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier, however, after they were overhauled by German pair Michael Fuchs and Michel Birgit 11-21, 21-17, 21-14 to be bundled out of the mixed doubles.

The result left Scotland's Bankier, who partnered Adcock to a silver medal at last year's world championships at the same venue, with tears streaming down her face.

"Devastated, obviously," a stone-faced Adcock said after the Britons' second loss from their opening two matches.

"We played patches of brilliance, the first set was perfect so obviously, yeah, gutted.

"We did everything we could. Unfortunately it wasn't good enough today. It's tough but that's the Olympic Games. You can have moments that are really good, but if you don't keep it up, you can quite easily let it slip away."

China, South Korea and Indonesia have won 23 out of 24 titles since the sport joined the Olympic programme at the 1992 Barcelona Games, but women's world number five Saina Nehwal is determined to muscle India into the gold medal club.

The 22-year-old, arguably the greatest hope of upsetting the four Chinese women ranked above her, blew away Swiss Sabrina Jaquet 21-9 21-4 in her first match of the tournament to the delight of a rowdy Indian contingent in the crowd.

"It's been good. It's my second Olympics and last time I was only 18 years old," Nehwal said of her brilliant run to the quarter-finals at Beijing.

"Now people expect a lot because I'm the fourth seed so it's been difficult."

British fans let down by Adcock and Bankier's elimination were back in full voice late in the evening session as Rajiv Ouseph survived his first men's singles match against Swede Henri Hurskainen.

With fans on the terraces thumping floorboards with their feet, the 25-year-old from the London borough of Hounslow sealed the match 22-20 17-21 21-15 with a smash in the left court and pumped his chest in delight as the home crowd roared.

The big names of badminton come out to play on day three on Monday, with China's Olympic men's champion Lin Dan and his long-time rival Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia starting their campaigns.

Suriname wildcard Virgil Soeroredjo's Olympic adventure finished promptly in the morning session with a one-sided loss to Japanese sixth seed Sho Sasaki but he signed off with an opinion that many might share at the Wembley Arena.

"I hope the guy from Malaysia, Lee, wins because China are taking enough medals," he said.


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