DOHA – World No.5 Bao Chunlai won the final set with two straight games in badminton men's team to lift China defeat defending South Korea at the 15th Doha Asian Games.
World champion Lin Dan seemed used up after a heart-stirring battle against Indonesian Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat on Monday. The loss to world championships semifinalist Lee Hyun Il ended his three-game winning streak in Doha.
|Bao Chunlai returns a shot to South Korea's Shon Seung Mo during their badminton men's team final at Doha Asian Games December 5, 2006. Bao smashed Mo 21-9 and 21-8 and China beat defending Asian Games champion South Korea 3-2.|
In Tuesday's duel of two left-handers, Lin could not get rid of a gritty Lee, losing the first set 20-22.
Although the 23-year-old world number one shuttler fought back to claim a 21-11 victory in the second set, he failed to turn the table in the third, losing 13-21.
"I failed to win the game point in the opening set and I played below bar in the final set," said a depressed Lin.
But then world number one Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng erased the deficit by bravely knocking off tough rivals Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung in straight sets.
Cai and Fu overcame a 12-16 disadvantage, then grabbed seven points in a row.
After winning the first set 21-19, Cai and Fu played much more firmly and finished the off world number three pair 21-14 in the second set.
"We won a battle of strength. We won with strong willpower," said Fu.
Later, Asian Games rookie Chen Jin didn't let hundreds of Chinese spectators down, coming from one set down to beat Park Sung Hwan 18-21, 21-6 and 21-11.
Although the second doubles pair Zheng Bo and Guo Zhendong failed to hold back Lee Jae Jin and Hag Ji Man, losing the fourth game 17-21, 21-13, 14-21, an in-form Bao Chunlai smashed Shon Seung Mo 21-9, 21-8 to seal China's victory.
"I am prepared well," said 23-year-old Bao, "I played relaxed and confident."