China has finally completed a sweep of all five badminton golds. Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng followed up Lin Dan’s performance by beating Boe/Mogensen for the men’s doubles glory.
By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)
Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng (pictured left) have finally made up for losing the Olympic final at home in Beijing four years ago. In the last badminton match of the 2012 London Olympics, the mighty Chinese pair shut down in-form Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (pictured below) to add Olympic gold to their already peerless award collection.
In the process, Cai and Fu have also won gold in the only category that had hitherto eluded China, in a year when all the other pistons were firing, too and the nation finally executed the five-gold sweep in the Olympics that they have already done twice in the World Championships.
In fact, China has been threatening to sweep the gold ever since Athens but Cai and Fu have always been the lynch-pins. After the retirement of current coaches Li Yongbo and Tian Bingyi after their Barcelona bronze, China was without a credible men’s doubles threat and that gold continued to be dominated by the Indonesians and Koreans.
It took Cai and Fu three Olympics but they finally took it home in grand fashion and etched their names on yet another page of the history books and if any still needed confirmation that they are the best men’s doubles pair so far this millennium, then this was it.
“Of course, we were very nervous but we thought we played very well,” said Fu Haifeng after receiving his gold medal. “We’re very proud of all five medals.”
“Last time we got silver but since then we’ve experienced a lot and have won the World Championships and we’re more mature now.”
“My family are my biggest motivations. They encourage me, especially my wife, who has been a real support.”
“I’m very disappointed right now. Getting to the Olympic final has been a dream of ours since we were small,” said Mathias Boe. “We have a maximum of one more final in us and it’s very tough. Hats off to the Chinese team though, they deserved to win.
“It means everything. If you’d asked me a week ago if I’d settle for silver I’d say ‘of course’. Winning the semi-final against the Koreans was very emotional for us, too. I think we fought like real men.
“The disqualifications were not so good for badminton. It is not the first time it has happened, but the system at the Olympics was stupid. Players are told what to do. To be honest the BWF should be kicked out for creating this situation. It is not good that all the talk is about the scandal rather than the player’s performance.”
“Tonight we will celebrate with our team and family in the city centre. At the moment, though, I just need some time to get over the disappointment.”
“I’m very happy, although I should be more happy of course. Ask me again in 15 minutes though and I’ll still say I’m happy,” added Carsten Mogensen.
“It was an awesome crowd today. I cannot describe how much they helped.”
“China are the No.1 badminton nation, the biggest nation in the world. We will always try our best against them. It is a little bit annoying that they are as good as they are, but it is a well deserved win for China.”
Jung to retire with a medal
The bronze medal match seemed to start the way the semi-final finished for Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae. They trailed through most of the first game and watched it begin to slip away as Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong sped out to a 19-14 lead.
The Koreans started chipping away in earnest and finally tied it up at 20-all, then saved a third game point before winning it 23-21. The second game was all Korea and Jung/Lee came away with a bronze medal at least, for Jung Jae Sung to take to his retirement.
“I am not sure our relationship could have withstood another loss,” said Lee Yong Dae after the bronze medal match.
“After we lost our last match, our relationship could not get any worse but it got better and I am so happy to be here today with Jung Jae Sung.”
Jung Jae Sung (pictured right) added, “It has been hard with Yong Dae but really I am so lucky. I have the best partner and that was the best match.”
“We lagged a bit at the beginning but thought to ourselves, ‘we can’t give up’, and we managed to get up to their level and win.
“There was so much expectation from Korea, from our team and from the crowd that we didn’t want to lose a single point and that is why we won the match.”
“The first game was disappointing to lose. We tried to attack in the second game but we lost our confidence,” said Tan Boon Heong after the match.
“The expectation was high from the crowd and from our fans in the bronze medal match and we are very disappointed that we didn’t get the medal.
Who’ll be back?
“We may not have this event at the next Olympics after the [women’s doubles] disqualifications earlier in the tournament,” said Tan Boon Heong (pictured left with Koo). “But if it remains then I’ll hopefully play again as I’d like to keep representing my country.”
Meanwhile, Lee Yong Dae has followed in the footsteps of compatriot Kim Dong Moon, who also won mixed gold with a veteran partner, then returned to take men’s doubles bronze with a win over Malaysia. Now all he needs is to come back to Rio and win another gold, but that will be with another partner, if it happens.
Men’s doubles results
Gold medal match: Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng (CHN)  bt Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (DEN)  21-16, 21-15
Bronze medal match: Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae (KOR)  bt Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong (MAS) 23-21, 21-10
No related posts.