- CNTV English - CCTV News

Chinese fledgling shuttler Li enjoys comfortable start on her first Olympic trip

07-29-2012 00:11 BJT

LONDON, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shuttler Li Xuerui beat her rival without too much difficulty on Saturday, the first day of the London Olympics, in the Wembley Arena. The victory pushed her one step forward to realizing her Olympic dream.

Li's rival, Claudia Rivero from Peru, was ranked 95th in the world, leaving the third seed Li little pressure in the competition. She hence proved her capacity with two short sets of 21-5 of 21-6.

"I did better than I thought," said the 21-year-old from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. About 1.74 meters' all, Li impressed people with her childlike smile that didn't seem to tally with her height.

"I am not familiar with the opponent, so at the beginning I lapsed a bit," she said. "Fortunately I managed to relax myself soon and won at last."

Li's coach Zhang Ning was apparently satisfied with the girl's performance. "I have always told them not to impose too heavy a burden on themselves."

Li garnered world reputation only this year, upsetting her top-ranked compatriot Wang Yihan to win the All England champion this March. On a four-tournament winning streak in the past four months, she edged away Asian Games gold medalist Wang Shixian to book an Olympic ticket, which made quite a stir in China.

Grouped with Rivero and Carolina Marin from Spain this time, Li needs yet another good performance so as to march into the round of 16. Li's last encounter with Marin was at the Victor Korea Open 2012 at the beginning of this year, when she defeated the latter 16-21, 21-17 and 21-19. Test on Sunday evening could be tougher.

"Every point counts and I will definitely do my best," she said.

Talking about the court in the Wembley Arena, Li said she liked it. "The shuttlecock seems to be flying slowly here," she said. "The pink color is so beautiful that I don't feel like competiting in the Olympic arena."

But she felt the Olympic atmosphere any way. "When I walked outside a couple of days ago, I saw the torch relay," beamed the player in joy. "I hope that I could have chance to walk around after the competitions and take some photos at the scenic sites, such as the London Eye."

At the mix zone, Li Xuerui got a surprise when the Chongqing Morning Business Journal, a newspaper from her hometown, presented her a gift. It was a banner bearing the characters as "Xiongqi", a colloquial expression in Chongqing for "rise up".

"Li is our pride and we are collecting signatures now to wish her good luck," said a man with the newspaper. "Now we have got signatures from her mom and coach. Hopefully we can get 2012 signatures."

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program