A TWISTED ankle did not stop Tine Rasmussen from winning the Malaysian Open women's singles title in a superb fashion yesterday.
The 28-year-old Dane continued to prove to be the Chinese players' nightmare. She played magnificently to beat reigning world champion Zhu Lin of China for the first time. Rasmussen won the final 18-21, 21-19, 21-18 in 69 minutes.
In the rubber game, it looked as though the game would end prematurely when Rasmussen twisted her ankle when she led the defending champion 14-12.
But thanks to immediate treatment by the team's physiotherapist and her boyfriend, Martin Baun, Rasmussen returned to the court.
“The injury was really bad and I had my ankle taped. But I was not troubled by the pain ... the adrenalin was already high. I told myself that I could not stop at this stage and the rest is unbelievable,” said a delighted Rasmussen.
“When I came to Malaysia, I was not even sure that I would survive the early rounds. Now, I have beaten all the Chinese players and that is a great thing for me.”
The win yesterday proved that her first Open title in Japan last year was no fluke. Then, she defeated several Chinese top guns to emerge as the champion.
“I proved again to everybody and to myself that I can do this (beating Chinese players to win titles). The support from the crowd was uplifting. I felt the whole arena was behind me. This is an incredible place to win my second major title,” said Rasmussen.
She added that the win had given her the psychological boost in her bid to win an Olympic gold medal at Beijing in August.
“I made progress over the last one year, mentally believing that the Chinese players are beatable. I have proved it by beating them. And the Malaysian player (Wong Mew Choo) has also done the same (beating the Chinese to win the China Open last year). Many others can make it happen too,” said Rasmussen.
When how she measured up with former Danish star Camilla Martin, Rasmussen said: “I have two titles but she had won 15 or more. This has nothing to do with Camilla. She is one of a kind. I want to be just Tine and continue to show that the Danish women's singles is still on top.”
National coach Thomas Stuer Lauridsen said: “She is our 'Chinese killer'. But she is one against the many Chinese. China will always be the favourite but now Tine has placed herself as a serious contender for an Olympic medal.”