ASIAN GAMES 2010 Indiv. Day 3 – Cai and Fu downed!

The match of the day in Tian He stadium saw Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung once again beat Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng – as in the team […]

The match of the day in Tian He stadium saw Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung once again beat Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng – as in the team match.  They enter the semi-finals of the .

By Raphael Sachetat, live in Guangzhou.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Maybe it was the medal that Lee Yong Dae was wearing around his neck which brought him luck.  Maybe it was just talent.  But the young Korean and his partner of nearly five years, Jung Jae Sung, put their opponents of the day to shame in spite of the vociferous crowd.  Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng had no answers to Lee and Jung’s attacks.  One could see how focused the two Korean boys were by the stress on their faces and how careful they were with their strokes.

Imperial in the first three strokes of each rallies, the Koreans were putting constant pressure on the Chinese, who eventually started lifting the shuttles up.  The rest was history as either Jung or Lee was to finish the rallies, post-lift with a couple – or three – hard smashes down the middle of the court. They were, once again,  a brilliant combination and the revenge hoped for by Cai and Fu after their close defeat in the team event didn’t occur.  Instead, their opponents gave them a badminton lesson.  If Cai and Fu didn’t play so well and did commit some unusual mistakes, it was just the Koreans that played at a level which was difficult to match for anyone in the world today.

“I made a lot of mistakes today so it was not a surprise to lose,” said Cai Yun. “We were confident before it started but we didn’t play well.  Maybe we have won too many matches that we entered the court being too relaxed today.  Lack of luck might be another reason.”

Meanwhile, Cai’s partner also blamed his mistakes: “I could feel my injuries after playing so many matches in a row but we failed in momentum and made a lot of mistakes.  I feel sorry because this was one of our targets.  Now, we have to prepare for London Olympics,” added Fu Haifeng.

For their opponents, it all lay in the attacking field:  “They are very aggressive and every time we play against each other, it’s a great match.  I think we were more aggressive than them today.  We were quicker on court,” said Lee Yong Dae.  “I think we now have about 60 % chances to win the gold medal here,” added the soft spoken Korean, who wears his Beijing gold medal necklace around his neck for good luck.

Lee’s partner was still cautious about the future.  “We did pass our most difficult opponents today, but we still have to be careful, especially with the Indonesian pair.  They’re really good at getting early points in the games,” said Jung Jae Sung.

The bet of letting the mixed doubles go for Lee Yong Dae proved right a bit later one as his replacement with Lee Hyo Jung, Shin Baek Cheol, secured a quarter-final spot for Korea, beating no less than India’s Diju V. and Jwala Gutta.  It was a strong performance from the Koreans, who took three games to earn a shot against Thailand’s Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul from Thailand, who had an easy time against Japan’s Hashimoto/Fujii.

Mouth watering quarters…

All men’s singles favourites came through rather easily with their first round matches which should provide with some interesting quarter-finals.  Lee Chong Wei entered the competition quite early in the morning and took one game to get going.  After losing the first game to Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit, the top seed went on for easy wins in the next two, 17-21, 21-6, 21-9.

“I rushed myself in the first game but it was better afterwards,” said Lee.  “ I had a headache during the team competition and I injured my waist, but I won’t think too much about it and try to focus on every match to do well in the men’s singles,” he added.

Lin Dan continued with the bullying of the Hong Kong entries, enjoying an easier match against neighbour Hu Yun from Hong Kong than he had had in the team competition.  Meanwhile, Chen Jin and Lee Hyun Il were expected to put on one of the best shows of the day.  Instead, the recently crowned World Champion gave no quarter to his opponent and the Korean had to bow to a clear superiority, as Chen came through with a clean 21-17, 21-11 success.

Taufik, Boonsak and Park also secured their quarter-final berths while the unexpected guest is Chou Tien Chen from Chinese Taipei continue his dream run with a win over Yamada of Japan to meet up with Chen Jin.

The quarter-final line up is as follows:

Lee Chong Wei (MAS) vs.  Boonsak Ponsana (THA)
Chen Jin (CHN) vs.  Chou Tien Chen (TPE)
Park Sung Hwan (KOR) vs.  Taufik Hidayat (INA)
Lin Dan (CHN) vs.  Nguyen Tien Minh (VIE)

For detailed results, CLICK HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.