Incheon: The Chinese team successfully defended the women’s team title in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games on Sunday. Li Xuerui, Zhao Yunlei / Tian Qing and Wang Shixian of China, all had to overcome one set deficit to pull off comeback wins against their Korean rivals.
Korea’s 23-year-old world number four – Sung Ji-Hyun fought to a brilliant lead in the opening match, taking the first game 21-17 with epic rallies stirring up a cheering home crowd as an unsettled Li put shots long and wide. Sung lost 21-13 in the second set, and Li Xuerui’s artillery of shots and lightning quick returns in the rubber game finally broke over-stretched Sung who yielded 21-16 in the 65-minute tussle.
Doubles pair Kim So-Yeong and Chang Ye-Na took their first game against Zhao Yunlei and Tian Qing 21-19 in the second match, but the tired Korean pair bowed out quickly to the Chinese pair 21-7 and 21-12 in the second and third set.
World number six Bae Yeon-Ju also managed to take the first game off world number two Wang Shixian with 21-12. Bae lost the second set to Wang 16-21, and with the deafening crowd chanted “Bae Yeon-Ju! Bae Yeon-ju! Bae Yeon-ju!”, the exhausted Bae just couldn’t finish the third set losing 19-21 to Wang in the 82 minutes match.
“We prepared well and studied how they played but we had a hard fight — every match went to three games,” said China`s Wang.
“We were not surprised by how good they were because we have met them many times and it`s always very difficult.”
Korea`s Chang added: “The home ground was to our advantage but it just didn`t work out — we tried hard to win gold, but the Chinese are a great team. “The hosts will again challenge China for gold in the men`s team final on Tuesday.