HONGKONG marched confidently into the quarter-finals of the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden yesterday after their fifth successive victory in the women's team event.
The territory's top two women players, Chan Tan-lui and Chai Po-wa, defeated Finland 3-1 despite Chan suffering an early hiccup by losing her first rubber to Anni Komulalinen 17-21, 21-12, 14-21.
Chan and Chai still proved too strong as they powered past the Finns in the next three rubbers.
World number seven Chai had few problems disposing of Sari Suomalainen 21-7, 21-11 in her singles and with Chan clinched the doubles against Komulalinen and Johanna Kaimio 21-7, 21-8.
Chan picked herself up from her earlier singles defeat by blasting past Suomalainen 21-8, 21-8.
Having edged out Japan 3-2, blanked France, Slovakia and England and now overcome Finland, Hongkong have comfortably won themselves a place in the last eight. The top three teams definitely go through, with the next teams getting another chance to go through via a repechage.
Hongkong still have to play Russia and group favourites South Korea, but are already guaranteed a top-three place in their group.
China's women, favourites for the title, also moved confidently into the last eight when they beat Romania 3-0, their fifth victory in Group A.