BIRMINGHAM - Olympic champion Lin Dan led four Chinese men's singles players to advance into the second round of the 100th All England Open Badminton Championships here on Wednesday.
Lin started his first match of 2010 at the legendary All England Open, knocking out Danish qualifier Christian Lind Thomsen 21-16 and 21-15.
"That's the first match between the Danish player and me. Sometimes I felt it's troublesome to follow his rhythm," said Lin, who has entered the finals of All England Open in six consecutive years and won four titles in the prestigious event.
"But I didn't feel uncomfortable for being out of competition so long and I performed normally today."
Although Lin is the hot favorite to win his fifth title at the All England Open, Lin felt nothing special for the expectation. "For me, it's only a common competition. I attach more importance to the Thomas Cup and World Championships," said Lin, claiming his third consecutive world champion title last year.
Lin's teammates Bao Chunlai, Chen Jin and fledging Chen Long all past the first round in men's singles, but Du Pengyu was defeated by experienced Indonisian ace Sony Dwi Kunncoro.
Having suffered his knee injury for long, Bao refreshed himself with the title from last week's German Open and swept his first round rival Marc Zwiebler of Germany in straight sets on Wednesday. But the Chinese number three is going to encounter South Korean ace Park Sung Hwan on Thursday.
Besides, world number one Lee Chong Wei beat Indian Chetan Anand in straight sets and Indonesian veteran Taufik Hidayat struggled to edge Hu Yun from Chinese Hong Kong 17-21, 21-11, 21-12.
In the women's event, China's world champion Lu Lan and the defending champion Wang Yihan both won their first matches, but world number two Wang Lin and her Chinese teammate Wang Shixia failed to go through.