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China's Lu Guangzu claims big scalp in badminton Worlds******
MADRID, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's Lu Guangzu sprang a big surprise in the TotalEnergies BWF World Badminton Championships on Tuesday when he defeated number four seed Chou Tien-Chen in three sets to book his place in the last 16.。
Lu's performance showed great resilience as he fought back after losing the first set 21-14 to claim the second set 21-15 to level the tie and then repeat that 21-15 score in the decisive third set.。
"Chou is a very tough player. All I can do is to fight every point, so I tried to keep the rallies long rally to look for opportunities. I started badly in the first set, but then I was patient and played the strategies of my own," said Lu.。
"I was strong in the second set and hit a lot of sharp smashes. I was thinking I don't need to save energy for the following matches because there won't be any following matches if I lost. And it worked," he said.。
Lu will now face number 12 seed Kidambi Srikanth, who ended Li Shifeng's adventure in Spain after a tough battle 15-21, 21-18, 21-17 after Li won the first set and was in with a chance of qualifying for the last 16 until the last moment of a tightly fought game.。
"Kidambi is very experienced player and I believe he was taking full advantage of his experience to beat down Li today. I have never beaten him before but I'll be well prepared for the tough game. Hopefully I can make some breakthroughs just like today," said Lu.。
In the women's singles, He Bingjiao moved into the last 16 after beating Marie Batomene of France in straight sets 21-12, 21-15,
China's number one seeds, Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan strolled into the last 16 with an easy 21-11, 21-4 victory over the Peruvian pairing of Ines Castillo and Paula La Torre.。
Ng Wing Yung and Yeung Nga Ting also progressed after defeating 16th seeds Amalie Magelund and Freja Ravn, 21-16, 21-18. Enditem。
UK's Johnson scraps COVID******
Tourists wearing masks to protect against the spread of coronavirus stand outside Windsor Castle on February 17.
British Prime Minister Boris onMonday said he would end all coronavirus restrictions in Englandincluding mandatory self-isolation for people with COVID-19 andfree testing, drawing skepticism from some scientists andpolitical opponents.
Johnson's "living with COVID" plan has sparked alarm that itis premature and will leave the country vulnerable to new viralvariants, but the government says it has provided more testingthan most other countries, and must now curb the cost.
The plan to ditch the remaining legal restrictions is apriority for many of Johnson's Conservative Party lawmakers,whose discontent over his scandal-ridden leadership hasthreatened his grip on power. Some critics think the plan isalso a bid to divert attention from those scandals.
Britain has reported 160,00 deaths from COVID-19, theseventh-highest death toll in the world.
As Europe retainssocial distancing and vaccine rules, Johnson is moving to repealany pandemic requirements that impinge on personal freedom,saying it is time the public took responsibility.
He will lean even more on the rollout of booster vaccines,with the government offering extra booster doses to the mostvulnerable, as well as other pharmaceuticals interventions suchas antiviral treatments.
"Restrictions pose a heavy toll on our economy, our society,our mental wellbeing and on the life chances of our children,and we do not need to pay that cost any longer," Johnson toldparliament.
"So let us learn to live with this virus and continueprotecting ourselves and others without restricting ourfreedoms."
Johnson said that the legal requirement to self-isolate forpeople who test positive for COVID-19 would be removed on February 24while free universal testing would end on April 1.
The devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and NorthernIreland have set their own COVID-19 restrictions, but the amountof money they have to spend on testing will flow from decisionsmade by the UK government.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was scathing onTwitter, writing: "To allow significant dismantling of thetesting infrastructure built up in last two years would beinexcusable negligence given ongoing risks."
'Scale this back'
Johnson said that some surveillance of the coronavirus wouldremain in place, allowing for a rapid response to new variants,which could be quickly scaled up.
But he cited the much-weakened link between COVID-19 casesand deaths due to vaccines, antivirals and the lower severity ofthe Omicron variant as informing his decision.
"It is only because we know Omicron is less severe, thattesting for Omicron on the colossal scale we have been doing ismuch less important and much less valuable in preventing seriousillness," Johnson said.
"This came at a vast cost... We must now scale this back."
Johnson said that symptomatic testing would remain availablefor at-risk groups and social care staff, and would work withretailers to allow anyone who wants to buy tests.
Britain has been unusual in providing free lateral flowtests to people who want to for months. In contrast, USPresident Joe Biden offered limited free rapid tests tohouseholds for the first time last month.
Leaders in Scotland and Wales had criticized Johnson's plansto reduce the availability of testing ahead of the announcement,while leader of the opposition Keir Starmer also said that theplan was ill-conceived.
"We can't turn off Britain's radar before the war is won.'Ignorance is bliss' is not a responsible approach to a deadlyvirus," Labour Party leader Starmer said.
Slovan Bratislava victorious in the battle between top two in the Slovak Tipos Extraliga******
BRATISLAVA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The 25th round of the Slovak ice hockey premiership produced an attractive fixture between the red-hot HC Slovan Bratislava and second-ranked HKM Zvolen. The Tipos Extraliga league leader confirmed its superb form, winning the ninth consecutive match by outscoring the reigning champions 5-3.。
HC Slovan continues to produce solid results in the Slovak premiership. The team from the country's capital scored three in a row to set the mood in the home arena (still without any fans present due to an ongoing nationwide lockdown caused by the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic).。
Zvolen tried to mount a comeback in the final period by scoring two early goals and cutting the deficit to 2-3 but Slovan's American forward William Rapuzzi scored his second of the night during a powerplay and Marcel Hascak stretched the lead to 5-2. Three minutes later. Zvolen scored one more but only adjusted the final result to 3-5.。
In the battle between two clubs from the East which lost their previous three rounds, Michalovce managed to tie the game against Kosice twice and took the lead for the first time in the 54th minute thanks to Pavol Regenda's second goal of the night. Kosice did not cave in and rallied instead.。
It was Canadian forward Allan McPherson who tied the game 90 seconds later and Extraliga's top scorer Pavel Klhufek put his team into the lead for the third and final time with his 14th of the season. McPherson's empty-netter set the final score to 5-3 in the final minute.。
Elsewhere, HK Spisska Nova Ves managed to keep up with HK Nitra only in the first period dominated by offense (2-2), but the home team scored three uninterrupted goals after that and cruised to a 5-2 victory, moving back to the third spot in the standings.。
HC Grotto Presov's weak performances continue to pile up -- the newcomer lost the fifth game in six rounds on Friday. HK Poprad's Dutch defenseman Mike Dalhuisen was on both the opening and closing end of things, scoring the first goal of the match in the second period through the pads of the home teams' goalie, and setting the final result to 4-2 on an empty-netter while killing a powerplay.。
Despite failing to capitalize on a penalty shot in the very first minute of the fixture against Dukla Trencin, MHK 32 Liptovsky Mikulas managed to grab a 2-goal lead in the second period which resulted in the final 3-1 victory that was topped up by an empty-netter.。
The home team's Czech goalie Tomas Vosvrda only let one puck slip past him and made a whopping 45 saves, significantly helping his team gain the fifth regulation-time victory of the season.。
Elsewhere, the clash between eleventh Banska Bystrica and tenth Nove Zamky was a very close one. The home team built a 3-1 lead late in the game but Nove Zamky pulled its goalie and cut the deficit to one. Despite great effort, the visitors failed to push the game into OT and had to relinquish their spot in favor of the "rams", both teams having amassed 25 points so far. Enditem。