Beijing:Defending champion Taufik Hidayat crashed out of the men's badminton in his first match today, still suffering lingering effects of dengue fever which hospitalised him just weeks before the Games.
The Indonesian, who turned 27 yesterday, described the straight sets defeat to Wong Choong Hann as a surprise, but paid credit to the Malaysian veteran playing in his third Olympics.
"I was feeling not good, my condition was not 100 per cent, (but) he was a good player today Wong Choong Hann," Hidayat said. "It's a surprise losing the first time round," he said.
The seventh seed was always going to struggle at these Games against China's three formidable champions as the host nation guns for a clean sweep of the gold medals, as well as inform second seed Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei.
But the Indonesian, known for his volatile temperament, was cut down in the lead up to the Games, spending six days in hospital with the fever, leaving him just one week before Beijing to hit the courts again.
In contrast, arch rival and Chinese number one Lin Dan strode into the round of 16 over Hong Kong's Ng Wei, determined to make amends after his first round exit in Athens.
"I was concentrating very hard because I didn't want to lose like I did in Athens," he told reporters of his straight sets win. Lin, a double world champion, now plays South Korean's Park Sunghwan after he downed his unfancied opponent.
Malaysia's Lee sizzled against Singapore's Ronald Susilo earlier Monday in his first outing, as he guns for his country's first ever gold medal.