Only Hashimoto and Hirata stood in the way of five titles for China in the Asian Championships, with four all-Chinese finals already confirming China’s success this week.
The day begun with the women’s doubles and a victory for the 2nd seeded Wang and Yu over Tian and Zhao in a one-sided final with Wang and Yu winning 21-13, 21-10. It was a similar story in the men’s doubles as the top seeded Cai and Fu defeated Hashimoto and Hirata in equally impressive fashion winning 21-12, 21-15 to take the Asian title. Both pairs failed to drop a game on the way to the title and also both defeated their opponents in the final in 33 minutes.
Lin Dan claimed his 20th victory over Bao Chunlai in the men’s singles final, winning a two game match 21-19, 21-13 in 42 minutes to further establish himself as Lee Chong Wei’s only real competitor. Lu Lan’s run ended at the final stage, losing out to the 2nd seeded Wang Yihan in two games in a 21-15, 23-21 match that took 49 minutes.
The final match of the day was the closest, with top seeded Zhang and Zhao taking on 8th seeded Ma and Xu. Both pairs claimed a game by the score of 21-15 before the match reached 20-20 in the final game, with Ma and Xu saving a match point then getting one of their own before the top seeded reeled off three points from 23-22 down to claim the Asian title 25-23 in the decider in a 69 minute match.
Lu Lan’s unlikely run to the Asian Championship final was completed with her third victory over a Chinese seed whilst there was a more likely story in the men’s singles with Lin Dan reaching the final with his semi final victory over Du Pengyu.
Lin Dan’s opponent in tomorrow’s final will be Bao Chunlai, who defeated the second seeded Chen Long in two games to book his place in the final. Lin Dan’s victory over Du Pengyu was equally as impressive, winning 21-16, 21-13. Tomorrow’s final will be the 25th meeting between the two players, dating back to the 2001 Singapore Open with Lin Dan winning 19 of the previous 24 meetings between them.
Lu Lan’s run this week has been at the expense of three Chinese seeds, now she takes on a 4th in tomorrow’s final against Wang Yihan. Lu Lan defeated Jiang Yanjiao in two tight games to reach the final whilst Wang Yihan run to the final has been an easier affair without meeting a seed on route to tomorrow’s final. This will be their 8th meeting, with Wang Yihan edging the series 4-3.
Hashimoto and Hirata’s victory over Chai and Guo ensured there wouldn’t be a Chinese monopoly on finals day, their two game victory over the 5th seeds to set up a match with top seeded Cai and Fu in the final. The Chinese pair defeated their team-mates Xu and Zhang in two games to book their place in the final without the loss of game this week and will be the favourites tomorrow in the first meeting between the two pairs.
Wang and Yu were pencilled in for the final from their opening match and their run this week has been truly impressive, they have never looked like dropping a game at any point but were given their toughest challenge in the semi final from the 8th seeded Bao and Zhong before winning 21-17, 21-19. Their opponents in the final will be another Chinese pairing, that of Tian and Zhao seeded 6 this week, who defeated the 5th seeded Korean’s Ha and Kim in a three game match that lasted over an hour. The 6th seeds are one of the few pairs in the world that can claim a victory over the Wang and Yu partnership, defeating them in the final of the Malaysian Super Series but were defeated just a week later by Wang and Yu in Korea.
The mixed doubles sees one of China’s specialist in the discipline, Ma Jin with partner Xu Chen reach the final at the expense of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand with the Chinese pair winning in two games. Their opponents in the final are the top seeded pair of Zhao and Zhang who defeated unseeded team-mates Pan and Hong in two games to reach tomorrow’s final. It will be the third meeting between the pairs, with Xu and Ma winning their previous encounter at the All Englands in March.
Semi Final Results:
Sixteen of the 20 competitors hail from the home nation of China in the Asian Championships as they reach the semi final stage, with a few forgotten names in the mix. Lu Lan has returned to her 2009 form and has shocked another seed on her route to the last 4.
The men’s singles has turned into an all-Chinese competition, with 3rd seeded Boonsak Ponsana losing out to Bao Chunlai in two tight games followed soon after by Tien Minh Nguyen who was defeated by another higher seeded player in Du Pengyu. Lin Dan defeated the last of the non-Chinese players in his three game victory over Sho Sasaki to set up his semi final with the 6th seeded Du Pengyu. 2nd seeded Chen Long defeated Wang Zhengming to reach the last 4 where he will take on Bao Chunlai for a place in Sunday’s final.
Cheng Shao Chieh is the remaining hope to defeat the Chinese stranglehold on the singles titles with her victory over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk. Her task to reach the final is a victory over the 2nd seeded Wang Yihan who has been impressive this week, without dropping a game to date. The other semi final is an all-Chinese matchup between the 5th seeded Jiang Yanjiao, who defeated Lin Xiu 23-21 in their deciding game in the quarter final and the unseeded Lu Lan who has returned to the form that seen her become world champion less than two years ago. Her closely fought two game victory over Li Xuerui was her second victory over a Chinese seeded player this week.
Cai and Fu have been highly impressive in the men’s doubles without losing a game to date this week, however they face their toughest task in their all-Chinese semi final against Xu and Zhang, seeded 6 who defeated the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan to book their place in the last 4. Chai and Guo, seeded 5 are the third of the Chinese pairs in the last 4 and take on the Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Hirata, seeded 8 this week and also defeated the 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan to reach the semi final stage.
Cheng and Chien’s run ended today in the women’s doubles, as the top seeds lost out to the 6th seeded Tian and Zhao in front of a partizan home crowd which ensured a third pair in the last 4 for China. Tian and Zhao’s opponents in the last 4 are the sole non-Chinese pairing of Kim and Ha, seeded 5th who defeated the 3rd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna to reach the semi final. 8th seeded Bao and Zhong have the tough task of taking on the 2nd seeded Wang and Yu who again were impressive in their 21-6, 21-18 victory over the 7th seeded Matsuo and Naito of Japan.
Zhang and Zhao’s run to date has not seen them take on a seed, with tomorrow’s match being no different as they take on the unseeded pair of Hong and Pan, who defeated the Japanese qualifiers of Sato and Matsuo to set up the all-Chinese semi final. The 8th seeded Ma and Xu defeated the lower ranked Tao and Tian to reach the semi finals, with a three game victory over the 3rd seeds. Their reward is a semi final match against the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand, who have failed to drop a game to date this week but were taken to a 29-27 game against the 6th seeded Lee and Chien in their quarter final match.
Quarter Final Results:
Day 3 provided the first big shocks of the Asian Championships, with 2009 world champion Lu Lan defeating the top seeded Wang Shixian in the women’s singles whilst Sho Sasaki defeated the 2010 world champion Chen Jin in their 78 minute matchup to reach the last 8.
Sasaki’s reward for his victory over Chen Jin is a quarter final match against the top seeded Lin Dan, who also had to come through his won three game match against Wen Kai, eventually progressing in 67 minutes. Second seeded Chen Long has had little trouble in his route to the last 8 with three victories without the loss of a game. His biggest challenge awaits in Wang Zhengming in an all-Chinese match. 3rd seeded Boonsak Ponsana has been back in form this week, with an excellent victory over Kazushi Yamada in two tight games to set up a match with Bao Chunlai, who has also been impressive in his route to the last 8. 4th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen takes on 6th seeded Du Pengyu in the 4th quarter final, with the 4th seeded Nguyen in excellent form in reaching this stage.
Even at the last 8 stage, China has assured itself of at least one finalist with a monopoly on the top half of the draw. Lu Lan’s victory over Wang Shixian means she takes on the 6th seeded Li Xuerui with the winner taking on the other quarter final in the top half of the draw, between 4th seeded Liu Xin and 5th seed Jiang Yanjiao. The three seeded players left in the top half have all won their matches without the loss of a game to date this week. The bottom half of the draw as a much more diverse nationality of players, with 2nd seeded Wang Yihan being the sole Chinese player in the bottom half of the draw. Two unseeded Thai players as well as a Chinese Taipei player makes up the last 8. With Wang Yihan taking on the Thai qualifier Sapsiree Taerattanachai for a place in the last 4.
The men’s doubles is another event well represented by Chinese pairings, with 4 of the 8 duos coming from China. Cai and Fu are the top seeds this week and have been flawless on route to the last 8 with a pair of two game victories. Their opponents in the last 8 are the Malaysian pair of Goh and Lim whose run to the quarters was bolstered with the withdrawal of the 7th seeded Lee and Shin who were set to be their first round opponents. The other quarter final in the top half sees the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan take on the 6th seeded Xu and Zhang for a place in the last 4. The big news in the bottom half of the draw is the loss of the 3rd seeded Fang and Lee to the unseeded Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu in a tame two game defeat.
The women’s doubles has a full compliment of seeds in the last 8, with only the 8th seeded Bao and Zhong as well as the 7th seeded Naito and Matsuo dropping a game on route to the quarter final. The Japanese 7th seeds will have to be at their very best to challenge the 2nd seeded Yu and Wang who have been the form pair in this event for the last few months. The top seeded Cheng and Chien take on the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao of China, who defeated the dangerous pairing of Ma and Cheng in two games to reach the last 8.
The mixed doubles draw has a few surprises in the last 8, all of which are in the top half of the draw to the delight of the top seeded pair of Zhao and Zhang. 7th seeded He and Yu lasted just two points into their opening round match before they had to withdraw which the Japanese qualifiers Sato and Matsuo have taken full advantage to reach to the last 8 where they will take on the unseeded Chinese pair of Hong and Pan. The bottom half of the draw has all four seeds remaining, including an all-Chinese tie between the 8th seeded Ma and Xu against the 3rd seeded Tao and Tian, with the higher seeded pair surviving a scare in their second round match against Shiota and Ikeda before progressing in three games. The last of the quarter finals sees the 6th seeded Lee and Chein take on the in form 2nd seeded pair of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam who haven’t dropped a game this week in reaching the last 8.
Day 3 Results:
The Badminton Asia Championships are offering a live stream of the event. Here are some of the details:
Semifinals matches starts April 23rd at 12:00pm (GMT + 8hrs)
Finals matches starts April 24th at 13:00 (GMT + 8hrs)
You can watch in the window below, or by visiting the Ustream page here.