Hosts sweeps China Masters badminton event


 Hosts China swept the China Masters badminton Super Series after world and Olympics champion Lin Dan brushed aside Thai Boosak Ponsana 21-17,21-17.

    The men’s singles final was the only one that saw a non-Chinese player compete as the hosts already booked four all-Chinese final staking place earlier.

    Lin, three times world champion and Beijing Olympics winner, did not give much room to the Thai player in the 40-minute final amid thunderous cheers.

    "I am happy with the result, not just the victory, but also the fact that I overcame China’s major opponents on the way to the championship," said Lin, 26.

    Lin eliminated world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the semifinal after beating South Korean Park Sung Hwan.

    Chinese head coach Li Yongbo said the gold medal haul and young players’ performance were beyond his expectation.

    "I did not expect that we could take all five titles. I think the most satisfying thing is that we found great potential in some of the young players. "said Li. "They will add China’s competitiveness in 2012."

    Teenager Wang Shixian was one of the young stars Li was referring to as she staged the biggest upset of the tournament to win.

    The 19-year-old, ranked 64th in the world, beat world number two Wang Lin 21-14, 14-21, 21-14 as she continued to play the role of seed killer. She overcame newly crowned world champion Lu Lan, seeded fifth, 16-21, 21-11, 21-14 in the semifinal after beating All England champion and fourth seed Wang Yihan 21-18, 21-18.

    "I used the right strategy of going to the net and also won some lucky points," she said.

    Shixian said a pressure-free state of mind helped a lot in her run for the championship.

    "Because some of the higher ranked players missed the tournament so I got the opportunity to compete here. So I did not have big goals and had no pressure," she said.

    "I also think ‘I am the youngest here so what I need to do is just try my best and see what happens’, " she added.

    Lu Lan, 22, Wang Yihan, 21 and Wang Lin, 20, are dubbed "small flowers" in the national first string team where Shixian has yet to join.

    "Of course I hope I can be selected into the top flight team. I will work harder as I am aware of the gap between those three and me," she said.

    In the mixed doubles, title favorite Xie Zhongbo and his partner Zhang Yawen left the match trailing at 21-13, 19-21, 4-8 when Xie did felt very well.

    "He had a little problem with his heart but it is not serious, "said Chinese head coach Li Yongbo. Xie went to the hospital after the match.

    The championship went to another Chinese pair Tao Jiaming and Wang Xiaoli.

    It was not the first time that Xie suffered a heart problem during competition. He was diagnosed premature beat in 2007 after he was eliminated from the quarterfinals at the China Masters.

    Beijing Olympics winners Du Jing and Yu Yang overcame teammates Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei 21-15, 21-15 to capture the women’s doubles title.

    Du and Yu led 11-8 to enter the technical timeout and never looked back in the opening set.

    The two pairs changed leads in the second but Du and Yu again led 11-8 and quickly to extend their advantage to 15-8.

    "This victory is such an encouragement for us because my injury stopped us from producing good performance after the Olympics," said Du, 25, who have been bothered by knee injury since their triumph in Beijing.

    "I still have a long way to go to reach as good form as in the Beijing Olympics last year," she added.

    Du and Yu will compete in the Japan Open kicking off two days later.

    "Hopefully we can win again in Japan," said Yu.

    World champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng withdrew from the men’s doubles final due to Cai’s injury, surrendering the title to teammates Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen.


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