China's Lin Dan wins Asian title, looks to Rio Olympics

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-4-26 22:52:38

Lin Dan defended the men's singles title at the Badminton Asia Championships here on Sunday, a boost for the Chinese superstar who is gearing up for the 2016 Rio Olympics, while Olympic champion Li Xuerui lost the women's singles final.

Lin, two-time Olympic champion, proved too powerful for his young compatriot Tian Houwei, winning 21-19, 21-8 in the final.

Unseeded Tian received a walkover the previous day when world No. 1 Chen Long withdrew from the semifinals with a knee injury.

"A gold medal here means a good start in the 2015 season, which is very important for me," Lin, also five-time world champion, told the press conference after the match.

"Now I have fans and rivals and I ask myself if it's possible for me to do even better and in 2016 represent China in my fourth Olympic Games, which I will be very proud of," the 32-year-old said. "In badminton, no Chinese has achieved this like Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia."

Lin admitted that Lee Chong Wei would be the hardest opponent if the Malaysian would be allowed to play in the Rio Games. Two-time Olympic silver medalist Lee is suspended by the World Badminton Federation for doping.

Earlier in the day, world number seven Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand recovered from a first-game loss to defeat world No. 3 Li Xuerui of China 20-22, 23-21, 21-12 in a lengthy women's singles final that lasted an hour and 16 minutes.

In 2013, the then 18-year-old Thai had also beaten Li in three games to win her nation' s first badminton world title in Guangdong, China.

"I'm happy to clinch a title again in China," said Intanon, adding that she felt no pressure while playing probably because Li hadn't fully recovered from her injury.

Li said that the tough Thai made her fight hard and too tired to strike back in the third game and that as impatience grew she made a few mistakes. "I still need to improve myself and I hope I will play better in the coming Sudirman Cup."

In the all-Chinese women's doubles final, Ma Jin and Tang Yuanting breezed past much-higher-ranked Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang 21-12, 21-12.

"The Chinese team sees the Asian Championships as a key event and so fielded the strongest players. We lost because we were exhausted after yesterday's match, but luckily the medal is still on our side," said Yu.

In the men's doubles, Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong of South Korea won the gold medal, after crushing Ahsan Mohammad and Setiawan Hendra of Indonesia 18-21, 24-22, 21-19. In the mixed doubles, Ahmad Tontowi and Natsir Liliyana of Indonesia won the title with a straight games victory over Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah of Chinese Hong Kong.

Posted in: Eye on the ball

blog comments powered by Disqus