Rasmussen breaks Asian domination at All England badminton


 By sportswriter Li Li

    BIRMINGHAM, England, March 9 (Xinhua) — Unseeded Tine Rasmussen of Denmark prevented an Asian domination by claiming her maiden All England title on Sunday.

The Dane upset third-seeded Lu Lan of China 21-11, 18-21, 22-20 in a breathtaking final, matching her compatriot Camilla Martin's feat in 2002.

    And Martin, back in Denmark, was quick to get in touch for congratulation.

    "She sent me a text, saying welcome to the club," said a beaming Rasmussen in a post-match press conference.

    After eventually winning at her third match point, she flied her racket, dropped to her knees before rising and running around the court to greet a capacity crowd who cheered and encouraged her all along the final showdown.

    She ended her salute with an emotional hug with her boyfriend and Danish team physio Martin Baun, eyes still sparkling with tears.

    For the 28-year-old who won her first major title only in last year's Japan Open, it was like a dream coming true.

    "The All England is one of the most prestigious events in the world. I was thinking about writing down history.

    "Only three ladies from Denmark had won the title (in modern times) before. I still can't believe it really happened."

    She eased through the first game and but found herself trapped in Lu's tough resistance before losing the second back.

    The Malaysian Super Series winner rallied to a 11-4 up in the deciding game but all of a sudden she was leveled 12-12.

    The score swung between the two to 16-all and it was since then Rasmussen pulled away taking advantage of the penetrating smashes and her 20-year-old opponent's mistakes.

    She almost let the coveted trophy slip through fingers, wasting two match points at 20-18 before finally clinching the victory at the third.

    But China still ran away with two of the five titles, capturing the men's singles and the mixed doubles.

    Chen Jin, 22, won an all-Chinese final 22-20, 25-23 against top seed and world champion Lin Dan, who apparently played an under-par game citing a knee injury.

    Chen's first All England title will for sure greatly improve his chance to qualify for the Olympic Games in August as China are pursuing the maximum of three quotas if they can have three players in top four.

    Their fellow Chinese Zheng Bo/Zhang Ling survived a scare to retain the title, outperforming Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia 18-21, 21-14, 21-9.

    The other two gold medals both went to South Koreans.

    Lee Hyo Jung/Lee Kyung Won beat third-seeded Du Jing/Yu Yang of China 12-21, 21-18, 21-14 in the women's doubles while Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae defeated compatriots Lee Jae Jin/Hwang Ji-man 20-22, 21-19, 21-18.


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