China makes clean sweep in badminton
Invincible China made a clean sweep in the Olympic badminton
competition at the Wembley Arena, winning all five gold medals that were
on offer. In addition, they won two silver medals and a bronze to make
it a total of eight medals while Denmark, Japan and Malaysia had a
silver medal each.
Accomplishing the Chinese gold medal feast was Lin Dan who
successfully defended his Olympic Games crown with another thrilling
victory over rival Lee Chong Wei in the menís Singles final yesterday.
In a performance that reasserts his position as arguably the greatest
player ever, the Chinese dug deep in a compelling third game to win
15-21 21-10 21-19.
Malaysiaís world number one Lee played a full part in an epic contest
but was unable to avenge his defeats in the finals at Beijing 2008 and
last yearís World Championships. Linís victory, completed in 79
energy-sapping minutes, made him the first man to retain an Olympic
Games Singles title and kept China on course for a clean sweep of
Lee, who in any other era might have won a handful of major titles,
started superbly in his quest to finally get the better of Lin on the
biggest stage. But some unforced errors crept into his game early in the
second set and allowed Lin to take the match into a decider. The bronze
medal was won by third seed Chen Long of China, who beat South Koreaís
Lee Hyun-il 21-12 15-21 21-15.
On the previous day, Chinaís Li Xuerui completed her dream run by
overcoming her illustrious compatriot Wang Yihan to win Olympic gold in
womenís singles. The 21-year-old failed to convert two match points in
the second game but managed to summon enough energy to clinch a draining
womenís Singles final 21-15 21-23 21-17.
Wang, the world champion and world number one, had long seemed
destined for the top prize but third seed Liís form throughout the week
had suggested she could cause an upset. Saina Nehwal of India took
bronze as China were denied all three podium positions after an injury
to second seed Wang Xin. Wang Xin jarred her knee late in the first game
against fourth seed Nehwal and play was delayed for her to receive
Badminton is a major sport for which there was a great following in
Sri Lanka as its overall captain Niluka Karunarate competed in menís
singles event. Though he could not make it to the quarter finals,
Karunaratne sprang the biggest surprise at the Olympic badminton
competition when he humbled world no.8 Kenichi Tago in straight sets.
The semi-final line-up in the womenís beach volleyball competition
will see familiar faces, with the reigning world champions and the
defending Olympic Games title holders both safely through to the final
Reigning world champions Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva of Brazil
eased into the semi-finals after victory a 2-0 against Germany. The
South Americans looked at their very best as they romped to the first
set with 11 points to spare, but they blew a big lead in the second
before just holding on for a 21-10 21-19 win in 41 minutes.
Next up for the Brazilians, who have yet to drop a set at Horse
Guards, is a semi-final against Jennifer Kessy and April Ross of the
United States on Tuesday. USA claimed a battling win over the Czech
Republic with a 25-23 21-18 victory against Marketa Slukova and Kristyna
Kolocova. Meanwhile, two athletic gold medals will be decided at Olympic
Stadium today. Both the events will be two field events for men - high
jump and discus throw. Womenís long jump final will decide the only
athletic gold medal that will be on offer on Wednesday.
Another packed stadium is expected on Thursday in the menís 200m
final when Jamaicans will make endeavour to maintain their track