Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Saturday, November 24, 2001
Badminton Roundup: Champions Gathering at China's National Games
The 11-day badminton competition of China's 9th National Games concluded in Guangzhou Friday night, with Hunan, Shanghai and Guangdong coming out the top three squads. Having drawn 17 teams nationwide, the competitions featured such top players including over a dozen Olympic and worldchampions, a rare scene for any national event in the world of badminton.
The 11-day badminton competition of China's 9th National Games concluded in Guangzhou Friday night, with Hunan, Shanghai and Guangdong coming out the top three squads.
Having drawn 17 teams nationwide, the competitions here featured such top players including over a dozen Olympic and worldchampions, a rare scene for any national event in the world of badminton.
Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen of Guangdong edged out the so-called "Dream couple" Ge Fei and Gu Jun of Jiangsu 2-0 to clinch the women's doubles title.
Zhang Wei and Wang Wei of Shanghai beat Liu Jianjun and Sang Yang of Zhejiang 2-0 to win the men's doubles.
Veteran Luo Yigang from central China's Hunan Province beat Chinese Army's up-and-coming Lin Dan 2-1 in men's singles final.
The 18-year-old admitted that he was under great pressure, probably mainly from himself.
Lin had displayed his potential as a young player with a 2-1 semi-final win over defending champion Chen Gang from east China'sZhejiang Province. "From the badminton competition here, we could see young players such as Lin Dan and Bao Chunlai (of Hunan) are maturing," said Li Yongbo, head coach of the national team. "Both of them defeated veteran players.
It would have been impossible for them to do this half a year ago," Li added.
"Compared with Chen Gang, Lin Dan is more comprehensive in terms of skills. And he could make more accurate drop shots," said Wang Wenjiao, former head coach of the national team and vice-president of the Asian Badminton Federation. Wang watched the semi-final between Chen and Lin. In women's singles, Hunan's Olympic champion Gong Zhichao beat world number one Zhou Mi of south China's Guangxi Huang AutonomousRegion 2-0 to snatch the title. It was the first ever national games title for Gong, one of the country's most decorated woman player. Multiple world champion Sun Jun teamed with his wife Ge Fei with no less championship titles to her credit, from east China's Jiangsu Province, defeated the Hunan pair of Zheng Bo and Huang Sui by virtue of their rich experience to pocket the mixed doublesgold.
Defending men's team champions Jingsu and reigning women's teamtitle holders Hunan overpowered their respective opponents, both from hosts Guangdong, to retain their titles.