GOLDEN DEBUT FOR CHINESE PAIR
China’s Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, who were only partnered with each other before the Asian Games badminton individual tournament began this week, made a golden debut when they captured the women’s doubles gold medal on Friday.
The pair were teamed up after Zhao Yunlei’s regular partner Cheng Shu had to pull out after sustaining an injury. Not many had expected the new pair to go far but they pulled off the shock of the Asian Games when they defeated teammates Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang20-22, 21-15, 21-15 to grab the gold medal. Their victory was China’s sixth in women’s doubles but the new pair had to work hard for the victory.
Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang started off brilliantly and took a tense first game 22-20. Undaunted, Tian Qing-Zhao Yunlei started to move the shuttle around quickly. They took advantage to level the match with a 21-15 victory. They were now in their zone and dominated their more experienced opponents in the rubber to complete a 21-12 victory for a surprise victory.
In the women’s singles, China will reclaim the gold after Wang Xin and Wang Shixian reached the final with straight forward victories over their Japanese and Hong Kong opponents respectively.
Wang Xin disposed of Japan’s Eriko Hirose 21-17, 21-15 while Wang Shixian defeated a visibly tired Yip Pui Yin 21-14, 21-14.
Pui Yin, who was a surprised silver medallist at the last Asian Games in Doha four years ago, had less than 10 hours rest after finishing her quarter-final victory over India’s Sania Nehwal after midnight and playing the semi-finals at 10am.
Wang Shixian was down 11-4 at one stage but used her superior fitness and finesse to register the straight games victory. Her victory, coupled with Wang Xin’s win ensured China will reclaim the gold medal which went to Hong Kong’s Wang Chen four years ago.
Meanwhile, China stayed on course to win the mixed doubles when both their pairs reached the semi-finals but Thailand’s best bets both lost in the quarter-finals
Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling-Cheng Wen Hsing stunned Thailand’s top seeds Sudket Prapakamol-S. Thoungthongkam 21-19, 21-8 while South Korea’s Shin Baekcheol-Lee Hyojung, South Korea beat Thailand S. Anugritayawon-K. Voravichitchaikul, 21-16, 21-17
China’s Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei edged South Korea’s Ko Sungh-yun-Ha Jung-eun 21-14, 15-21, 21-14 while Ma Jin-He Hanbin upset Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng Mu-Chien Yu Chin, Chinese Taipei, 21-17, 21-5.