Sunday, November 22, 2009

Defending Champions Reign in Shanghai

Lee Yong-dae and his partner Jung Jae-sung celebrate win

Shanghai - Defending champions dominate China Open final as they won four events. Last year winners are Lee Yong-dae/Lee Hyo-jung, Yong-dae/Jung Jae-sung, Lin Dan, Jiang Yanjiao, and Zhao Tingting/Zhang Yawen. This time, only women's doubles winner is different - Tian Qing partnering with Zhang.

Great Lee Yong-dae

Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae reacts during a match against Zheng Bo and Ma Jin

It was a perfect fairy-tale ending for Yong-dae in China, earning two titles from mixed doubles and men's doubles. Yong-dae, pairing with Hyo-jung, prevailed over local favorite Zheng Bo/Ma Jin who beat the Koreans four times this year.

The world number one pair claim their first title after 2-months absence with a 21-18, 15-21, 21-15 win in 1 hour 16 minutes. They always led the match in the final set as Zheng/Ma only equalized one times 14-14.

Two hours later, Yong-dae was back on court to play his second final of the day. With Jae-sung, he challenged world number one Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong.

The Koreans and Malaysians each gave their best to win the match, which featured rallies lasting even longer than the women’s doubles. Kien Keat and Boon Heong returned smash after punishing smash from the second seeds as Yong-dae/Jae-sung finally outshone the Malaysians 21-13, 19-21, 21-18 and win their second title in a row. That proves the number twos are better than Kien Keat/Boon Heong.

"Today I'm very happy that I had a great match today. It can be considered a world class game. I'm very happy of our performance even if we lost," said Kien Keat at the press conference.

Yong-dae said that the match was fun: "Koo and Tan's defense is very good and that really got the fans going. It was very tiring and if we hadlost, we would have really regretted it. Overall, it was really a fun match to play."

Yong-dae has collected 4 China Open titles.

Too Good for Jorgensen

Lin Dan poses with Jan O Jorgensen

China's best men's singles player Lin Dan was too strong for unexperienced Jan O Jorgensen. Lin Dan triumphed over the Danish in an easy 38-minute two sets, 21-12, 21-12.

"I feel that this year, compared to other men's singles players on BW circuit, my results were not the best," said Lin Dan.

'This is mainly because Bao Chunlai won four competitions and I also won four and same for Lee Chong Wei. Everything was quite balanced. But for me, in 2009, I am very happy that I had a smooth sailing year."

However, what Lin Dan said is not quite right since his teammate Bao Chunlai only won 3 titles this year.

"Winning a home is always a great feelinga nd I am glad I did as I had some injuries before the tournament. It's the end of the year and I am quite satisfied with my performance after the Olympics.

"I've grown to be a better player from 2004 to 2008, and now, I am also seking to be even better. I feel like I still have a lot in me and I would like to prepare the best I can for London Olympics," stated Lin Dan.

All-Chinese Women's Finals

Hong Kong Open finalist, Jiang Yanjiao, ends her title drough in 2009 as she gains women's singles title. She repeated her last-year success in China with a victory 21-19, 22-20 over unseeded Wang Xin.

Zhang Yawen/Tian Qing humbled 2008 Olympic gold medalists, Yu Yang/Du Jing, 21-14, 21-14. This win may delay Zhang's retirement as she has planned a retirement because of several injuries.


pictures by and internationalbadminton

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