Hidayat sleep-walks into Lin clash

Former gold-medallist Taufik Hidayat said he played like he was asleep Tuesday after setting up a compelling clash with Chinese champion Lin Dan in the Olympic men's badminton.

The 2004 winner from Indonesia, who described himself as "not an early morning person", rose early to beat Spain's Pablo Abian 22-20, 21-11 and reach a last-16 meeting with the great Lin.

Hidayat, who will retire soon after the Games, had to save an early game point against the world number 34 before hitting his stride at Wembley Arena.

"I never play early mornings," the colourful 30-year-old Hidayat said, after his match which started at 9:00 am.

"It's too early for me -- I am not an early morning person. My body is still adjusting. Because I play too early I play like I'm sleeping."

It was as well that Hidayat woke up just enough at 19-20 down to sneak the first game with his combinations of accurate, creative attack and deft net play.

Losing that might have seen him drift into trouble, and risk placing in danger his date with destiny with Lin.

"I will need to prepare for that," said Hidayat.

Another former world number one Tine Baun also reached the last 16 after winning her second match at the group stage.

The tall hard-hitting Dane twice beat the best from China to win All-England titles, but has been battling injuries and had to work unexpectedly hard to get past Anastasia Prokopenko, the world number 37 from Russia, by 19-21, 21-15, 21-16.

"I am relieved. I didn't play my best game," Baun admitted. "I was quite nervous but my spirits are high, and they tell me to keep on fighting."

It was nevertheless a very important success for Baun, who is in the only quarter without a Chinese player and can bring down anyone when her powerful game is firing.

"The shuttles are quite fast, which suits me," she said. "It makes a few more points for my smashes."

Baun also said she was happy not to be staying at the Athletes Village in east London thereby avoiding a marathon bus journey across the city to Wembley.

"It's good to be able to stay in a hotel locally, rather than a long way away in the Olympic village," she said.

"That is very nice, but there is no travelling and there are not so many people around all the time, which means you can do your own stuff."

She next plays Sayaka Sato, the 12th seeded Japanese player, who got past Britain's Susan Egelstaff in three tough games.

Another Wembley favourite, Pi Hongyan, the China-born former All-England finalist from France, also reached the last 16, with a 16-21, 21-18, 21-14 win over Chloe Magee of Ireland.

Pi now faces Sung Ji-Hyun, the eighth-seeded Korean.

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