Incheon: After an epic five hours battle against the mighty Chinese team in the Asian Games men’s team final, Korea’s 34 year-old Lee Hyun-il rolled back the years to produce yet another dominant performance outlasting 24 year-old Gao Huan of China to clinch the winning point for Korea.
Despite the age difference, Lee beating his younger opponent with precision, speedy and aggressive play style. Lee won the first set over Gao 21-14 in the 23 minutes, and the stadium erupted into ecstasy when Lee scored the match point 21-18 as Gao returned the shuttlecock into the net.
In the first singles match, having won only one of their six previous meetings, Son Wan-ho shocked Chen Long of China in three sets 21-5, 22-24, 21-14 in 79 minutes. Son unleashed a relentless wave of smashes in the decider, leaving Chen Long helpless and went on to win the first point for Korea.
“I just focused on the third set and went on the attack after the break,” said Son, who finished his compulsory military service today and dedicated the win to his fellow soldiers.
“I want to win gold for the troop because they’ve helped me with my training.”
Lee Yong-Dae and Yoo Yeon-Seong put Korea ahead with 2-0 when they crushed Xu Chen and Zhang Nan 23-21, 21-13 in 49 minutes.
It was Olympic men’s singles champion Lin Dan who rescued China from going down with 3-0 by beating Lee Dong-Keun of Korea 21-18, 21-15; then, recently reunited 2012 Olympic men’s doubles gold medalists Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng leveled the score to 2-2 after they came from behind to beat Kim Sa-rang-Kim Gi-jung 19-21, 21-18, 21-16 in 65 minutes.
Playing under pressure, Lee Hyun-il dispatched Gao Huan in third singles to win his second Asian Games gold after helping the men’s team to victory in 2002.