Lin Dan leads Beijing to first men’s team title at China National Games

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Lin Dan and Beijing's men's team lift trophies after winning the China National Games final in Tianjin. (photo: Lin Dan)
Lin Dan and Beijing's men's team lift trophies after winning the China National Games final in Tianjin. (photo: Lin Dan)

Tianjin: Beijing secured historic China National Games win, as Lin Dan contributed the second men’s singles match in straight sets against Fujian’s Zhang Qi, wining 21-10, 21-6 on Sunday.

Unlike the Thomas Cup, Uber Cup or other tournaments that were sanctioned by Badminton World Federation (BWF) where players will be fielded based on their World Rankings, the men’s and women’s team events at China National Games did not consider the world rankings and other factors, instead, the player lineup is solely determined by the coach. Therefore, the fans weren’t able to see the epic clash between Chen Long and Lin Dan because the Beijing team has decided to play Lin Dan in the second men’s singles spot while Chen Long remained as the first men’s singles for the Fujian team.

Lin Dan and the Beijing team pose with the China National Games trophy following their victory against Fujian in the final. (photo: AP)
Lin Dan and the Beijing team pose with the China National Games trophy following their victory against Fujian in the final. (photo: AP)

Going into the first men’s singles match, Beijing sent former China national team player Du Pengyu to face Rio Olympic champion Chen Long Fujian. Although Du Pengyu did show some fighting spirit during the match, Chen Long’s steady type of play proved too strong for Du, beating Du 21-17, 21-17 to take the first point for Fujian.

Lin Dan and the Beijing team win their first China National Games men's team title. (photo: AP)
Lin Dan and the Beijing team win their first China National Games men’s team title. (photo: AP)

However, Zhang Nan/Liu Yuchen of Beijing staged a remarkable comeback to win 21-18,21-13 in the first men’s doubles match over Hong Wei/He Jiting of Fujian team, levelling the score at 1-1, before Lin Dan gave Beijing a 2-1 advantage by seeing off Zhang Qi of Fujian in straight sets.

Liu Xiaolong/Liu Cheng of Fujian then dug deep to keep alive their team’s bid to win the gold medal by beating Yu Xiaoyu/Qi ShuangShuang of Beijing 21-8,21-14 in the second men’s doubles as Fujian drew level at 2-2 to send the final down to the wire.

Beijing’s Qiao Bin appeared poised to finish the job for his team and delight the passionate fans after rifling a 21-19 win against Tian Houwei of Fujian in the opening set. Qiao Bin produced his best badminton at crunch moments and finished 21-16 in the second set to snatch the victory from the strong Fujian team.

Earlier in the evening, Chen Long’s girl friend and former World No. 1 women’s singles player Wang Shixian led Jiangsu to a 3-1 triumph over Hubei in the women’s team final.

Wang Shixian (third left) leads Jiangsu to the China National Games women's team title.
Wang Shixian (third left) leads Jiangsu to the China National Games women’s team title.

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