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China's Zhao beats Srikanth for last 16 at badminton worlds

Zhao Junpeng hits a return during the men's singles second-round match against Srikanth Kidambi of India at the BWF World Championships 2022 in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

China's Zhao Junpeng pulled off a major upset at the world championships when the world No. 23 beat Kidambi Srikanth of India to reach the last 16.

TOKYO, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's Zhao Junpeng shocked world silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth of India 21-9, 21-17 to reach the men's singles third round at the World Badminton Championships here on Wednesday.

Zhao, ranked 23rd in the world, needed only 34 minutes to beat 12th seeded Srikanth, the defeated finalist in last year's World Championships in Huelva, Spain.

Zhao Junpeng hits a return during the men's singles second-round match against Srikanth Kidambi of India at the BWF World Championships 2022 in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

Zhao, a beaten quarterfinalist last year in Huelva, next plays fifth seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia.

"I've played with him earlier this year. I was not that confident at that time. So tomorrow I will try my best," said Zhao.

Chen Yufei of China competes during the women's singles second-round match against Soniia Cheah of Malaysia at the BWF World Championships 2022 in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

In the women's singles, fourth-seeded Chen Yufei of China also advanced easily.

The reigning women's doubles pair Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China stormed to the last 16 after beating Indian pair Ashwini Ponnappa and Reddy N. Sikki 21-15, 21-10.

Chen Qingchen (L)/Jia Yifan of China compete during the women's doubles second-round match against Ashwini Ponnappa/Reddy N.Sikki of India at the BWF World Championships 2022 in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

Elsewhere, top-seeded men's doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo from Indonesia advanced into the round of 16. In the past five years, they have never won a World Championships or Olympic medal.

"Of course, we want to be champions here. We will just keep focused, take it step by step and try our best. We don't want to have any extra pressure," said Sukamuljo.