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Chinese duo retain mixed doubles badminton
August 19, 2004 21:47 IST
China's Zhang Jun and Gao Ling retained their Olympic mixed doubles badminton title on Thursday after a classic duel with battling Britons Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms.
The second seeded duo won a knife-edge final 15-1, 12-15, 15-12 to secure China's second gold of the day at the Goudi Olympic hall.
The silver medal was Britain's best ever showing in badminton at an Olympics.
After a deceptively one-sided start, with the Chinese romping 9-0 clear in the first game before the Britons could reply, the champions discovered they had a fight on their hands.
Robertson and Emms refused to give up, playing on their opponents' increasing frustration to put themselves right back into contention and taking the lead for the first time in the third game.
Cheered to the rafters by a flag-waving crowd singing "Rule Britannia", they then saved two match points before Emms hit a return to the net.
Unseeded Danes Jens Eriksen and Mette Schjoldager won the bronze, beating seventh seeded compatriots Jonas Rasmussen and Rikke Olsen 15-5, 15-5 in an earlier playoff.