China sweeps badminton team events in Asiad
Powerhouse China lived up to expectations as they ruled the men's and women's team events in the badminton competition of the 2010 Asian Games on Monday.
The Chinese men's squad downed South Korea 3-1 while their women's team demolished Thailand 3-0.
In the men’s team event, Olympic champion Lin Dan led the Chinese over the South Koreans. Lin defeated Park Sung-hwan 19-21 21-16 21-18 in the opening singles match.
But the South Koreans levelled the best-of-five series when Chung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae defeated Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng in the doubles 21-17 20-22 24-22.
Chen Jin regained China's lead with an easy 21-9 21-15 victory over Son Wan-ho before Xu Chen and Guo Zhendong clinched the gold by beating Yoo Yeon-seong and Ko Sung-hyun 23-21 21-17 in the fourth match.
The Chinese squad also consists of Bao Chunlai, Chen Long, He Hanbin and Zhang Nan.
Indonesia and Thailand settled for the bronze medals.
World No 1 Wang Xin overcame an early setback to beat Ratchanok Intanon 20-22 21-17 21-14 in the opening singles match of the women’s team final.
World No 4 Wang Shixian gave the hosts a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five championship when she beat Nitchaon Jindapol 21-13 21-12.
Jiang Yanjiao clinched the victory for the Chinese when she downed Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-15 21-10.
Wang Xin admitted that she was pressured to give the host nation a head start in the final.
"I always thought this would be a tough game. I was too nervous and it made me make a lot of faults," she told AFP.
The top-ranked shuttler also praised her 15-year-old opponent for giving a good fight.
"My opponent was very aggressive and I felt pressured throughout the match. I prepared beforehand but I didn't realise it would be so hard," she said.
Also receiving medals for the Chinese squad are Cheng Shu, Lu Lan, Ma Jin, Tian Qing, Wang Xiaoli, Yu Yang and Zhao Yunlei.
South Korea and Indonesia shared the bronze medals.
China coach Li Yongbo said the team's struggles against a young team like Thailand is an indication that other nations are slowly catching up with them.
"We can see very clearly that badminton is improving in the world and more and more countries are making improvements so we are going to face more and more challenges, so we need to work hard," he said.
"In the team event it's team work and team spirit that gets you through. A lot of expectations were placed on the team so that caused them some stress and affected their performance."
Meanwhile, action in the women's singles, women's doubles, and men's doubles will kick off tomorrow. The men's singles will start on Wednesday while the mixed doubles will unfold on Thursday.