Boonsak beats Chinese foe again in Games badminton


BANGKOK, Thailand: Boonsak Ponsana made it two upset wins in a row over world No. 2 Chen Hong of China, giving Thailand the men's singles badminton gold medal Wednesday at the World University Games.

Boonsak, a 25-year-old law student ranked ninth in the world, led Thailand to the team title last weekend with a win over Chen, avenging a loss to the Chinese player in the recent Thailand Open final.

The Thai player did it again Wednesday, beating Chen 17-21, 21-15, 21-17.

Wang Yihan of China beat Taiwan's Cheng Shao-chieh 21-12, 21-17 in the women's final.

In the first of 12 diving finals to be held over the next four days, Noemi Batki of Italy and Maria Voloshchenko of the Ukraine shared gold when they each finished with 280.65 points.

American Mary Yarrison, from the University of Texas, scored 276.30 to take the bronze.

"This is my first international meet in about four years, so for me it was a good way to come back," said Yarrison. "I was glad it was a consistent day. I didnt really hit anything or really miss anything, I was just solid all across."

Thailand's men's soccer team, playing with a 15-man squad after three players were suspended following a brawl in the quarterfinals against Mexico, was beaten 2-1 by the Ukraine in the semifinals.

The Ukraine will play Italy, which beat Canada 2-1 Wednesday, in the gold medal match Friday

Both women's semis were decided on penalty kicks after the matches ended in 1-1 draws — North Korea edged Brazil 3-2 in the shootout while Russia beat Ireland 4-2. The winners will meet in Friday's final.

In men's tennis, local hope and No. 1 seed Danai Udomchoke won his semifinal match, 6-2, 6-4 over No. 3 seed Chen Ti of Taiwan. Chen extended Danai longer than any other player this week — while most of Danai's earlier matches were finished in 30 to 40 minutes, the Thai player was on the court with Chen for 1 hour, 12 minutes.

Danai will play South Korea's An Jae-sung, the No. 4 seed, in the gold medal final on Thursday. An beat Charles Brezac of France 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

The top-seeded women's doubles team of Taiwan's Chan Yuan-jan and Chuang Chia-jung won the gold medal, beating the Rakhim sisters of Kazakhstan — Amina and Madina — 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. The Taiwanese pair made it to the Australian Open final this year after receiving a wild card and while playing together for the first time.

In women's softball, Canada remained unbeaten with a 9-2 win over the United States in a second-round game. Canada, which broke open a close game with four runs in the fifth inning, was helped by five U.S. errors.

The U.S. women's basketball team, represented by the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, won its relegation playoff game 81-62 over Turkey. Danielle Burgin scored 15 points as the Americans stayed in the hunt for a fifth-place finish.

"I think as a team we are starting to settle into ourselves and play like we are capable," said Team USA head coach Karen Aston. "This was a nice win for us."


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