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OLYMPICS

China badminton star Li Xuerui receives late Olympic entry

Li Xuerui, China's latest badminton star, received a late callup to the London Olympics after passing teammate Wang Shixian in the world rankings.

China had the top four ranked women when the Olympic qualifying period ended on May 3, with Wang at No. 3, and Li at No. 4. Countries are allowed three singles berths if three players are ranked in the top four, meaning Wang qualified and Li missed out.

But Li and Wang swapped rankings on May 31, and Li consolidated the No. 3 ranking amid her 30-match winning streak from February into June.

On Tuesday, at the end of the final qualifying phase, China picked Li for singles and dropped Wang, the Asian Games champion who was world No. 1 as recently as November.

Li started the year ranked No. 9, then couldn't stop losing. She won the All England Open and Asian Championships beating No. 1 Wang Yihan in both finals, and her second Superseries title of the year in India in April.

Her streak finally ended in her sixth straight final, in Indonesia last month.

Wang's cause wasn't helped by quarterfinals defeats at the India and Indonesia Opens.