Wednesday, August 3, 2016
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Mixed Doubles defending champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei will open the Badminton Competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with their Group A match on Thursday 11 August at 8 am (Rio time).
China’s Zhang/Zhao (featured image) are among six pairs on three courts who will launch the action in badminton’s seventh edition at the Olympics. The top seeds will take on Germany’s Michael Fuchs/Birgit Michels as they seek a second successive gold medal. On neighbouring courts, Women’s Doubles top seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) tackle India’s Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa (Group A) while Men’s Doubles third seeds Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang (Korea) face the challenge of Poland’s Adam Cwalina/Przemyslaw Wacha in Group C.
Chinese superstar Lin Dan begins his pursuit of a record third Men’s Singles gold medal when he takes the court opposite Austria’s David Obernosterer (Group E) in the second match on Court 1. His close rivals Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) and Chen Long (China) follow not long after; Lee is scheduled for a 9.35 am start against Suriname’s Soren Opti, while Chen opposes Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne.
Korean Men’s Doubles top seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong will also feature in the morning session, taking on Australia’s Matthew Chau/Sawan Serasinghe in Group A at 8.25 am.
Women’s Singles defending champion Li Xuerui (China) is due for a 7.55 pm start against Portugal’s Telma Santos. The closing matches on opening day at 9.05 pm will showcase Great Britain’s Kirsty Gilmour against Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet (Women’s Singles Group D) and India’s Kidambi Srikanth against Mexico’s Lino Munoz (Men’s Singles Group H).
The first four days (11 to 14 August) will have all 159 group matches, which will be split into three sessions each day. The Mixed Doubles quarter-finals will be completed on Sunday 14 August; the knockout stage for the other categories begin the next day (Monday 15 August) at 8.30 am. The two Mixed Doubles semi-finals will also be held on Monday, at 9.30 pm.
The Mixed Doubles gold medal match will be held at 12.30 pm on Wednesday 17 August. Subsequent days will see gold medal matches for Women’s Doubles (18 August), Women’s Singles and Men’s Doubles (both on 19 August). The climactic contest of the badminton competition – the Men’s Singles gold-medal showdown – will be held on Saturday 20 August, at 9.30 am.
The order of play for the Badminton Competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games can be viewed here.