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South Korean pair Lee/Hwang lock target for men's doubles gold
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15:01, August 13, 2008

Lee Jae Jin and Hwang Ji Man carried the golden dream for South Korea in men's doubles after their favorites Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung ousted in the first round.

Lee and Hwang, ranked No. 13 in the world, beat Keita Masuda and Tadashi Ohtsuka from Japan 21-12, 18-21, 21-9 at Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium here on Wednesday.

"After South Korea won a gold (in the Men's Doubles) in Athens, badminton has become very important in Korea," said Hwang. "We will go for the gold medal, but we want to focus on the semifinal first."

"We were playing well as a team today, showing good unity and encouraging each other," said Hwang, attributing their victory to the chemistry between them.

On the reason for the defeat, Masuda said that they cannot keep up with the South Korean's pace, as they were younger.

According to Ohtsuka, it is their last Olympics.

"We have played together for 12 years, and we feel satisfied with our achievement today," said the 30-year-old Japanese. "Throughout 12 years in badminton, we have seen the sport rising in popularity in Japan. We are happy to see that."


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