Chinese power on show at Asian badminton


New Delhi: Led by World and Olympic champion Lin Dan, China reigned supreme with a dominating performance at the Badminton Asia Championships which concludes Sunday.

Support TwoCircles

Despite many top Chinese players missing the action, including world’s top five in women singles, China showed why they are an indisputable power in the sport with both the men’s and women’s singles final an all-Chinese affair.

The top two seeds in women’s final — home favourite Saina Nehwal and Hong Kong’s Mi Zhou were devoured by the dragon fire, both matches won by qualifiers.

An error-prone Saina stumbled against China’s Xuerui Li 17-21, 11-21 while Zhou Mi, a former Chinese, went down to Xin Liu, 15-21, 18-21 in the first semi-final.

For the first time in the continental championship, two qualifiers will battle it out in the title clash.

In the men’s singles, second seeded Lin beat Thailand’s fifth seeded Boonsak Ponsana 22-20, 21-10 while unseeded Wang Zhengming upset sixth seeded All England Open finalist Kenichi Tago of Japan 21-14, 19-21, 21-16 in a thrilling encounter.

Super Lin showed why he is regarded as one of the best players ever as he fought off a tense battle in the first game against Boonsak.

Lin, who has not been in the best of form this year and lost early in the All England Open and Swiss Open, said it was just a bad phase in his career.

“Every sportsperson goes through a phase when he reaches a peak and then slides. I am also a human being and there are ups and downs in the career of every sportsperson,” said the 26-year-old Lin, who has all the titles to his credit except the Asian title.

“I will be playing my junior in the final and I will give my best. It’s nice that the title will remain with China.”

Wang, who was well-prepared to face Kenichi Tago, said he did not allow the Japanese to play his powerful game.

“He is very powerful with his smashes. I had studied his videos and did not allow him to play his natural game,” said the 2008 world Junior champion.

It is the world class back-up strength of China that came to the fore in this tournament.

“We have long camps and I regularly play against top players like Lin Dan,” said Wang.

Asked whether he still feels homesick as he had once complained, he said: “I used to feel homesick before but now I am used to the training camps.”

In the men’s doubles, Gun Woo Choo and Y’on Seong Yoo of Korea defeated Chieh Min Fang and Sheng Mu Lee of Chinese Taipei 21-18 and 22-20. The Korean pair meets top seed Hung Ling Chen and Yu Lang Lin of Chinese Taipei, who got the better of Korean Sang Hoon Han and Ji Man Hwang 17-21, 21-16, 21-15.

In women’s doubles event sixth seeded Chinese Pan Pan and Quing Tian won a marathon match against third-seeded Chinese Taipei’s Wen Hsing Cheng and Yu Chin’Chien 22-24, 21-16, 21-18.

The second women’s doubles semi-final was equally well-fought with the Malaysian Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon edgeing past Thailand’s Savitree Amitapai and Vacharaporn Munkit 18-21, 21-17, 21-14.

In the mixed doubles final, sixth seeded Korean Yeon Seong Yoo and Min Jung Kim will take on seventh seeds Malaysian Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh.

The Korean pair defeated Chinese Zihan Qiu and Qing Tian 24-22, 13-21, 21-11 while the Mayasians battled past fifth seeded Indonesian Devin L.F. and Liliyana 22-20 and 21-16