The Jiangsu provincial team became the biggest winner by clinching both men’s and women’s badminton team golds here on Tuesday.
Spearheaded by Olympic bronze medalist Chen Jin, Jiangsu took men’s team gold medal in fourth consecutive National Games after beating Fujian 3-0, whose previous best was the champion at the seventh National Games in 1993. Earlier in the morning, newly crowned world champion Lu Lan led Jiangsu women’s team to lift the title in 16 years by taking down Guangdong 3-1.
Chen Jin, world No. 4, opened the winning start for Jiangsu men’s team after outplaying Chen Long, world No. 17 and world Junior champion, 21-17, 25-23.
Chen Jin trailed in the first set 10-6 but earned six point in a row at 12-6. Then Chen Long tried to turn around before Chen Jin leveled the score at 16-16 and won the game 21-17. The second set proved a seesaw one as the two sides leveled at 8-8, 11-11, 17-17 before Chen Jin led at 20-18. Chen Long saved two game points to level at 20-20 before conceding to Chen Jin 25-23 and finishing the 64-minute duel.
"Jiangsu’s goal was defending the title. I was under great pressure as I played the first match. I have been prepared for three games since Chen Long is young and talented. He dominated well on the net during the match," said Chen Jin."I felt very nervous today and was not in my best form. I was a little bit conservative so the victory was a hard one."
Chen Long said he was too anxious to earn points, which led to some errors.
Tao Jiaming and Sun Junjie put Jiangsu 2-0 ahead after pipping Guo Zhendong and Liu Xiaolong in a comfortable way 21-8, 21-17.
"Before the match, our teammate Cai Yun helped us analyse our rivals, which made us more familiar with their style. "said Tao. Cai Yun is a twice men’s doubles world champion respectively in 2006 and 2009.
Qiu Yanbo, world No. 122, pulled off a win of 21-16, 15-21, 21-16 over Gong Weijie, world No. 43, wrapping up the victory for Jiangsu.
The bronze medal went to Guangdong, who beat Liaoning 3-1 earlier on Monday.
For women’s part, newly crowned world champion Lu Lan led Jiangsu to take women’s team gold medal after defeating Guangdong 3-1.
It’s the second time for Jiangsu to enter the finals since 1997and to lift the title since 1993. While for Guangdong, they have won silver medals at three consecutive National Games.
Lu, world No. 8, battled her national teammate Xie Xingfang, twice world champion and Olympic runner-up.
In the 42-minute match, Lu led the first game 4-0 before Xie managed to cut the deficit and leveled the score at 12-12. When Xie trailed 20-16, she saved three game points before losing 21-19. In the second set, Lu led all the way and never looked back to secure a comfortable win 21-9.
"I think Xie’s speed was very fast especially in the first set and her attack was very fierce. But in the second her physical strength proved to be a problem," said Lu after the match.
Lu’s words were echoed by Xie. "I was exhausted in the second set so I could not catch up Lu’s speed," said Xie. "We still stand a chance (of winning the champion) in the following matches."
2004 Athens Olympic Champion Yang Wei paired up with young shuttler Zhong Qianxin, ranked 68th in world women’s doubles, and pulled one point back for Guangdong as they took down Tang Jinhua and Tan Wen 21-18, 21-12.
Yang downplayed Guangdong’s winning prospects, saying that Guangdong was weaker than Jiangsu in terms of overall strength.
"The three singles players of Jiangsu have comparatively higher world rankings," said Yang. "But we have only one strong doubles pair (she and Zhang Jiewen). But in the team competition Zhang and I are experienced shuttlers so we have to pair other players to make Guangdong stronger. Zhong’s performance is excellent today."
"This is is my first match in my maiden National Games tour," said Zhong. "I learned a lot from Yang. During the match, she told me to be patient when attacking in backcourt."
In the following singles match, Wang Shixian, newly crowned in China masters, overcame Xia Jingyun 19-21, 21-13, 21-17, putting Jiangsu 2-1 ahead.
"Even I lost in the first set, my confidence is built up and in the second and decider I played better,"said Wang.
Sun Xiaoli and Cheng Shu left no chances slip away as they outlasted Zhang Jiewen and Yao Guojun 17-21, 21-16, 21-16 to wrap up the 3-1 victory for Jiangsu.
"In the decider, even we trailed by a large margin in the first half, we didn’t lose our confidence. when we leveled the score at 14-14, I knew we are the champions," said Cheng.
Hubei settled for a bronze medal after defeating defending champion Hunan 3-1 earlier on Monday.