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South Koreans win men's doubles gold

August 21, 2004 11:29 IST

South Korea took the gold medal in the men's doubles badminton at the Athens Olympics on Friday and the southeast Asian nation also won through to the men's singles final for the first time.

In an all-South Korean doubles final, Kim Dong-moon and Ha Tae-kwon steamed past Lee Dong-soo and Yoo Yong-sun 15-11, 15-4.

The number three seeds secured the gold medal on their first match point with a backhand winner from Kim.

Indonesians Eng Hian and Flandy Limpele defeated Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard Hansen of Denmark in the bronze medal match 15-3, 15-7.

Although Kim and Ha took the bronze four years ago in Sydney when Lee and Yoo won silver, the result was not a surprise.

The new Olympic champions have more of a pedigree in top-level tournaments and had beaten Lee and Yoo in all of their previous 10 meetings in international competition.

"With all these years come ability and experience. We had more experience," said Ha, a 29-year-old veteran who said he would now consider whether to retire from the sport.

The final capped a good day for South Korea after Shon Seung-mo -- partially sighted in one eye after a shuttlecock hit him during training as a teenager -- defeated Indonesian Soni Dwi Kuncoro in the men's singles semi-final.

Saturday's final will pit Shon against Taufik Hidayat, an unseeded Indonesian who has kept a fiery temper under control to become one of the surprises of this competition.

Hidayat defeated Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand to reach the gold medal match.

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Hundreds of Indonesian fans wearing the national colours of red and white or traditional costumes cheered and chanted through both semi-finals, providing some much-needed atmosphere for a sport which has not attracted large crowds in Athens.South Korea took the gold medal in the men's doubles badminton at the Athens Olympics on Friday and the southeast Asian nation also won through to the men's singles final for the first time.

In an all-South Korean doubles final, Kim Dong-moon and Ha Tae-kwon steamed past Lee Dong-soo and Yoo Yong-sun 15-11, 15-4.

The number three seeds secured the gold medal on their first match point with a backhand winner from Kim.

Indonesians Eng Hian and Flandy Limpele defeated Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard Hansen of Denmark in the bronze medal match 15-3, 15-7.

Although Kim and Ha took the bronze four years ago in Sydney when Lee and Yoo won silver, the result was not a surprise.

The new Olympic champions have more of a pedigree in top-level tournaments and had beaten Lee and Yoo in all of their previous 10 meetings in international competition.

"With all these years come ability and experience. We had more experience," said Ha, a 29-year-old veteran who said he would now consider whether to retire from the sport.

The final capped a good day for South Korea after Shon Seung-mo -- partially sighted in one eye after he was hit by a shuttlecock during training as a teenager -- defeated Indonesian Soni Dwi Kuncoro in the men's singles semi-final.

Saturday's final will pit Shon against Taufik Hidayat, an unseeded Indonesian who has kept a fiery temper under control to become one of the surprises of this competition.

Hidayat defeated Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand to reach the gold medal match.

Hundreds of Indonesian fans wearing the national colours of red and white or traditional costumes cheered and chanted through both semi-finals, providing some much-needed atmosphere for a sport which has not attracted large crowds in Athens.

Andrew Gray
Source:
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