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Rediff.com  » Sports » Lin Dan wins Asian badminton men's singles title

Lin Dan wins Asian badminton men's singles title

April 19, 2010 00:05 IST

Triple World Champion Lin Dan of China enthralled the audience with a superb display of stroke-play to notch up his first Asian Badminton Champion title, while compatriot Xuerui Li won the title in the women's singles at the Siri Fort stadium in New Delhi on Sunday.

Also known as 'Super Dan', second seed Lin rode on his solid defense and powerful array of strokes to outclass compatriot Zhengming Wang 21-17 21-15 in a 39-minute clash.

In another all-Chinese women's singles final, Xuerui Li edged past Xin Liu 21-13, 18-21, 21-19 in a nerve-wrecking battle that lasted for over an hour.

China also stamped its authority in the women's doubles final as sixth seed Pan Pan and Qing Tian spanked Malaysian combo of Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon 21-10, 21-6 in under half an hour.

However, in the men's doubles, top seeds Hung Ling Chen and Yu Lang Lin of Chinese Taipei was stunned by fifth seeds Korean pair of Gun Woo Cho and Yeon Seong Yoo 19-21, 21-12, 17-21 in an edge-of-the-seat final that lasted 49 minutes.

Earlier, seventh seeds Malaysian pair of Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh saw off sixth seeds Korean pair of Yeon Seong Yoo and Min Jung Kim 21-17, 20-22, 21-19 in a thrilling mixed doubles match that last over an hour.

Cheered by a motley crowd at the stands, Lin Dan showed his prowess as he engaged in long rallies and played an attacking game. His powerful smashes floored his rival more than once.

Wang huffed and puffed in all corners of the court but to make things worse for him, a lot of his smashes and return flicks were caught in the net and went wayward.

The 2008 World junior Champion, however, showed some sparks of brilliance, displaying his repertoire of strokes but it all faded in front of the Super Dan.

In the first game, Dan surged ahead from 5-5 to 14-20 and although his junior pro saved as many as three match points, the Beijing Olympic gold medallist sealed the game when Wang's smashes ended up in the nets.

In the second game too, Dan opened up a 4-0 lead before Wang caught him at 7-7 but Dan kept changing his game constantly and grabbed seven straight points to move to 14-7 before closing the game rather comfortably.

"I have been to India three times and the audience out here have always supported me and have charged me up to win tournaments," said Dan, who won his last world championship title in 2009 at Hyderabad.

"For the last two tournaments in UK and Switzerland, I wasn't playing well and I really wanted to win this tournament and I am happy that I have won it now. It will give me a lot of confidence," he said.

Asked about his compatriot Wang, Dan said, "He is still young and time is on his side. If he can train and practice every day, he can be a very good player."

Another Chinese shuttler Xuerui who brought laurel to her country winning the gold medal in the women's singles, said she was confident of winning the title after her victory over India's Saina Nehwal on Saturday.

"I was confident of going all the way after beating top seed Saina Nehwal in the semis," she added.

"I was tired towards the end but I believed in my abilities that worked in my favour. I didn't have any plan for this match against Xin Liu, my coach had asked me to stick to the basics and cut down on unforced errors," Xuerui said.

Xin, on the other hand, put the blame on the flurry of unforced errors and said it proved too costly for her in the end.

"Xuerui Li is a very fast player. I tried to slowing down the pace but my plan didn't work. I also need to minimise the unforced errors, that what cost me the final," she said.

Mixed doubles pair of Liu Ying Goh and Peng Soon Chan said they slowed down the game against the Koreans and it worked in their favour.

"We are happy as well as surprised after beating Korea in the finals. This pair had beaten us in the last ABC in Kuala Lumpur. I had a recurring knee that's troubling me for the past two years but my partner supported me well," Liu Ying Goh said.

"The Korean pair was very fast and the only way to tackle them was to slow down the game and break their rhythm. That's why we were lobbing a lot and waited for our chances to attack. The strategy really worked," Peng Soon Chan said.

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