Wang Shixian Stuns World No.1 to Win Asian Games Gold
Wang Shixian overcame a bout of nervousness on Saturday to stun world No. 1 Wang Xin 21-18, 21-15 as China regained the Asian Games women’s singles gold medal they sensationally lost in Doha four years ago.
Chinese women have dominated badminton for the past decade but Hong Kong’s Wang Chen defeated teammate Yip Pui Yin after they created the biggest upsets in the sport when they beat their Chinese opponents in the semi-finals in 2006.
This year, the Chinese dragons came back with a vengeance as both Wangs were clearly a class above their rivals in the competition. Many had expected the more experienced Wang Xin to triumph but Wang Shixian had other ideas.
Wang Shixian, who is the world number four, raced to a 5-1 lead in the opening game only for Wang Xin to slowly but surely eat away at the lead. She finally drew level at 10-10 with a smash which left her teammate flatfooted.
Wang Shixian, who at 20 is four years younger, kept her nervousness in check to eventually win the first game 21-18, sealing the game with a shot which just dipped over the net.
She then took control of the second game as she raced to a 7-0 lead. Wang Xin tried everything in her arsenal to counter her rival but lost further ground as Wang Shixiang went 17-7 up.
A final throw of the dice saw Wang Xin close the gap but she couldn’t do anything to stop Wang Shixiang from winning 21-15 to close out the 33-minute match.
Speaking to the media afterwards, a visibly shocked Wang Shixian said: “I can’t say that I was not nervous but I tried to relax. “I’ve got a lot of experience from the Asian Games. It will strengthen me in the future.”
Wang Xin, who also lost the 2009 Malaysian Open final to the same opponent, said: “I didn’t play well but am still happy because my teammate took the championship.”