ASIAN CHAMPS 2011 Finals – 5 Pandas for China

There were no surprises as logic prevailed on finals day of the Badminton Asia Championships, with China sweeping all five titles – and five pandas, which were offered by the […]

There were no surprises as logic prevailed on finals day of the , with China sweeping all five titles – and five pandas, which were offered by the Province of Sichuan – before a jubilant home crowd.  It was a historic moment as it is the first time China has done so. Lin Dan successfully defended his men’s singles crown, while Wang Yihan claimed her second title of the year.

By Pearlyn Kwang, Badzine Correspondent. Photos (live): China Foto Press/ Badmintonphoto

Reigning Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan (photo) proved too good for Bao Chunlai, taking just two games 21-19, 21-13 to subdue his team-mate and retain his title. This is Lin’s third title of the year, after his triumphs in Korea and Germany.

In women’s singles, world number 2 Wang Yihan (photo) overcame nagging fears of the knee injury she sustained in February to end compatriot Lu Lan’s fairytale run to the finals. The 23-year-old from Shanghai attacked aggressively right from the start, giving Lu little chance, taking the first game 21-15. The second game saw Wang continue her brilliance from the first, quickly racing to a 15-10 lead, but Lu persevered and managed to level the score at 17-all. It was a neck-and-neck battle from then on, but Wang showed why she was the second seed, eventually wrapping up the game and match 23-21 to seize her maiden Asian championship title.

I didn’t play well today. Too many mistakes. I’m quite disappointed from my performance,” said Lu.

The women’s doubles final was a familiar sight, as it is the third time this year Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang had played opposite Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei in a final. Each pair had won one of the previous two confrontations – the former in Korea, and Tian/Zhao in Malaysia. While both meetings went the full three-game distance, it was a no-frills affair this time for second-seeded Wang/Yu as they easily defeated their rivals 21-13, 21-10, adding another trophy to the impressive collection they have amassed in just seven months together.

Having outclassed Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan and Chai Biao / Guo Zhendong en-route to becoming the sole non-Chinese finalist, Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Noriyasu Hirata failed to take it a step further, bowing out 12-21, 15-21 to China’s top pairing Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng. Cai and Fu’s victory marks China’s first Asian Championship men’s doubles title in 17 years.

World number 1 Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei captured the mixed doubles title and avenged their All-England quarter-final loss by edging out Xu Chen / Ma Jin 21-15, 15-21, 25-23, making head coach Li Yongbo (photo) quite happy about his team performance, even if key players from Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea had skipped the event.

All results HERE

About Pearlyn Kwang