The day begun with Cai and Fu reaching the men’s doubles Olympic final and ended with a pair of gold medals for China with the injury of Wang Xin the only low point in a day riddled with success for the Chinese.
Gold For Li Xuerui
The form player in 2012 justified her selection for the Olympics ahead of Wang Shixian and won China’s second gold in two days. It was talent over willpower in the women’s singles match, with Wang Yihan’s talent failing to defeat Li Xuerui’s will to win in a three-game classic. Saina Nehwal claimed the bronze medal, but not in the way the Indian would have hoped as Wang Xin retired at the beginning of the second game after claiming the opening game. A knee-injury hindered Wang Xin’s movement before she crumbled on court after the opening point in the second game that forced her into retirement and gave Nehwal the bronze medal.
Tian and Zhao Claims Women’s Doubles Gold
There was a Chinese winner in the women’s doubles, but not the pair that many expected. With the group stage farce decimating the draw, it was the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao who claimed gold – with Zhao Yunlei winning her second gold of the Olympics after her mixed doubles success. An easy first game victory for the Chinese required a response from the Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa to ensure there wasn’t a Chinese rout. A tighter second game ensued, but the Chinese eventually took the second game 25-23 to ensure China’s third gold. Sorokina and Vislova took the bronze medal, after a one-sided victory over the Canadian pair of Bruce and Li.
Boe and Mogensen stun Lee and Chung
The “dream final” in the men’s doubles was put on hold for at least four years by the Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen who defeated Lee and Chung in a sensation men’s doubles semi final which will be a contender for match of the tournament. The Korean pair took an early lead, claiming the first game only for the Danes to respond and take the second game. After squandering a match point, Boe and Mogensen earned a second match point and a Mogensen lift was left by Lee Yong Dae, only for the shuttle to hit the lead and send the Danes into tomorrow’s final. Cai and Fu will be their opponents tomorrow, after the Chinese pair defeated Koo and Tan in a one-sided semi final that the Chinese pair took with their third match point to ensure their second successive Olympic final.
Day 8 Results:
The group stages have provided countless intriguing matches, from the opening session of play all the way to the final session of the group phase.
All Start Times Are Local Times
Saturday, July 28 – 8.30am
Lee / Ha (Korea) – Laybourn / Rytter Juhl (Denmark)
The toughest mixed doubles group of the four opens up play inside Wembley Arena, with the world number 8 and 9 pairs clashing to take one step closer to the quarter finals. They sole meeting came at the German GP in April and resulted in a one-sided victory for the Danes which they will hope for this weekend. There is also the question of endurance for Lee Yong Dae, as he will be back on court that night in the men’s doubles with Chung Jae Sung over 12 hours after playing his opening mixed doubles match. Saturday will be a long day for Lee Yong Dae.
Sunday, July 29 – 8.30am
Zhang / Zhao (China, Seeded 1) – Adcock / Bankier (Great Britain)
Wembley Arena has brought them together once more, with the playing field evened ever so slightly from little under a year ago. The Brits have claimed two famous victories since their defeat at the World Championships against this Chinese pair, both coming at Super Series Premier events. Zhang and Zhao claimed their most recent match in Indonesia last month, but the British pair have something they didn’t have a year ago, belief that they could beat the Chinese. There was hope last year that their run the final would continue on for one more day, but on Sunday morning there is a belief and a track record to support them – as well as a capacity crowd.
Sunday, July 29 – 1.40pm
Chen Long (China, Seeded 3) – Boonsak Ponsana (Thailand)
On paper, this should be a routine victory on route to the last 16 for the 3rd seed but their head to head suggests differently. The world number 22 has a 2-1 advantage over Chen Long from Ponsana’s time inside the world’s top ten. Their last match was over 18 months ago but this is far from an easy match for Chen Long.
Monday, July 30 – 9.05am
Wang Yihan (China, Seeded 1) – Michelle Li (Canada)
The Canadian has struggled with food poisoning in the build up this week, but there will be no excuses available to Wang Yihan should she fail to reach the last 16. It will be their first match against one another, with the world number 1 a massive favourite to go through. Michelle Li’s draw in the women’s doubles is just as tough as she will take on the world number 1 pairing of Wang and Yu the day before her opening singles match.
Monday, July 30 – 2.15pm
Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia, Seeded 1) – Ville Lang (Finland)
The national secret over the rehabilitation of Lee Chong Wei’s ankle will be revealed and tested on Monday afternoon, by the Finnish workhouse of Ville Lang. His 104-minute marathon against Christian Lind Thomsen in April has proven that is physically capable of withstanding a demanding match, he will lengthen rallies to tire opponents and he will test out Lee Chong Wei’s right ankle. Few are expecting a Lee Chong Wei defeat if he is anywhere near his best, but his rivals will watch this match intently for signs of discomfort and weakness.
Monday, July 30 – 7.44pm
Peter Gade (Denmark, Seeded 5) – Pedro Martins (Portugal)
And so the legend ends. Peter Gade’s final Olympics will begin on Monday night against Portugal’s Pedro Martins with the knowledge that a win will take him through to the last 16. It has been over two months since Gade’s last competitive victory, with a pair of losses to Lee Hyun Il and Sony Dwi Kuncoro adding more doubt to the legendary Gade’s chances of medalling in London. A strong performance will cast those doubts aside for at least a few days.
Monday, July 30 – 8.15pm
Lin Dan (China, Seeded 2) – Scott Evans (Ireland)
Lin Dan’s title defence starts against Scott Evans, a reserve for the event who know has the unthinkable task of ending the run of the defending champion. The pair have played three times previously with their most recent match taking place inside Wembley Arena at the 2011 Worlds, with Lin Dan winning comfortably. Scott Evans has never taken a game against Lin Dan, he’ll need two for the biggest shock of the Olympics.
Tuesday, July 31 – 2.19pm
Sayaka Sato (Japan, Seeded 12) – Susan Egelstaff (Great Britain)
Susan Egelstaff’s draw was considered favourable as she avoided the top 10 players in the world, but on further observation this could be the biggest shock of the group stages as well as one of the best moments inside Wembley Arena for the GB team. Egelstaff holds a 1-0 advantage in the head to heads, with a victory at the 2010 All England Championships but Sato also comes into the Olympics in a poor run of form – winning just 8 of her 22 matches this year.
Tuesday, July 31 – 3.20pm
Lee / Chung (Korea, Seeded 2) – Koo / Tan (Malaysia)
There will be something riding on this match in all likelihood for at least one of these pairs, whether it is for the group win or simply to qualify. Koo and Tan have failed to record a victory over the Korean pair since the 2010 Worlds in Paris and will probably need a victory to ensure their place in the last 8 with Boe and Mogensen or Chai and Guo waiting in the quarter finals for one if not both of the pairs.
Another big name fell in the men’s singles as the 4th seeded Taufik Hidayat was defeated in the second round by Singapore’s Zi Liang Derek Wong, but Hidayat was not the only seed to crash out on the 3rd day in London.
Hidayat was joined by 14th seeded Marc Zwiebler, who defeated Hidayat twice in the build up events to the world championships but lost in three games to Spain’s Pablo Abian in 74 minutes. Abian takes on the fairytale story of the event to date, Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon who is through to the last 16 after defeating Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen in two games. The top three seeds remaining in the draw had little trouble reaching the last 16, with Lee Chong Wei defeating Ville Lang in two games to set up a match against Park Sung Hwan in the third round. Lin Dan defeated Ireland’s Scott Evans in two tight games to set up his third round match against Lee Hyun Il of Korea whilst the 3rd seeded Peter Gade was very impressive in his 21-9, 21-5 victory over Pukhov of Russia and takes on the 13th seeded Simon Santoso in the 3rd round tomorrow.
The second round of matches in the women’s singles was completed today, with the first big name casualty coming in the 8th seeded Bae Youn Joo losing out to Pi Hongyan of France whilst the top seeded Chinese players on show today progressed safely into the last 16. Wang Yihan defeated Gu of Singapore in two games, as did 3rd Wang Xin in her victory over Anastasia Prokopenko of Russia. Saina Nehwal’s campaign also started with a win over Chloe Magee of Ireland and will take on Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in the last 16.
The second round in the men’s doubles was also completed today, with top seeded Boe and Mogensen winning in impressive fashion to reach the last 16 and a match against Hashimoto and Hirata of Japan, seeded 9th.The 4th seeded Koo and Tan were also given a real test by the Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu, taking them to three games before the Malaysian’s eventually progressed to take on Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei, who defeated the 13th seeded Kindervater and Schoettler to reach the last 16. Ko and Yoo were also taken to three games by the English pairing of Adcock and Ellis, before the 5th seeds claimed victory and a last 16 place to take on Cho and Kwon, in an all-Korean match.
The biggest seed to fall to date came in the women’s doubles as the 2nd seeded Chien and Cheng crashed out to the Indian pair of Gutta and Ponnappa in two games, who will take on the 11th seeded Poon and Tse who ended the English pairing of Langley and Smith’s run at the championships this year. Fujii and Kakiiwa almost crashed out today also, needing 88 minutes and saving a match point in their match over Chin and Wong before progressing 22-20 in the deciding game and setting up a 3rd round match against Vislova and Sorokina of Russia, seeded 10.
Britain’s last hope of success lies with Bankier and Adcock in the mixed doubles, after their victory over the 8th seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichaikul of Thailand in two games. Their reward is a 3rd round match against Shiota and Ikeda of Japan, seeded 15th who defeated the Austrian pairing of Zirnwald and Baldurf in two games. There was little hassle for the top seedings in the bottom half of the draw, as Ahmad and Natsir progressed into the last 16 in two games, as did the 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen in two games also and the 4th seeded Tian and Jiaming are also through to the last 16 to take on Mateusiak and Zieba of Poland.
A major badminton event returns to India for the 3rd year running after the 2009 World Championships and 2010 Commonwealth Games with it’s first Super Series event, after taking the Super Series tag from the Swiss Open for 2011. The draw is far from the strongest with the all-conquering Chinese squad not taking part this week, but still has some of the world’s best in New Delhi this week.
Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat and Peter Gade are the main attractions of the men’s singles draw with no Lin Dan, Chen Jin, Bao Chunlai or Chen Long in the draw which has allowed some lower ranked players like Yuhan Tan of Belgium and a host of India players to reach the main draw. One of those Indian’s in the main draw is Ajay Jayaram, who takes on the top seeded Lee Chong Wei whilst Taufik Hidayat takes on Anup Sridhar. The match of the opening round is a repeat of the 2010 World Championship quarter final between Peter Gade, seeded 3 this week and Kazushi Yamada with the winner likely to be involved in the match of the second round also, with Anand Pawar or Sho Sasaki playing in the other match in this part of the draw.
Top seeded Saina Nehwal has the weight of a nation on her shoulders for the second year running, after her Commonwealth success. She plays Ai Goto in her first round match whilst her main rival in the draw comes in the way of Tine Baun, the second seed who takes on Xing Aiying in her opening round match. Eriko Hirose will be Nehwal’s main rival in the top half of the draw, with the duo expected to meet in the quarter final stage.
Koo and Tan return to India just 6 months after their Commonwealth success as top seeds this week. Their main rivals in the top half of the draw will come in the way of the Asian Championships runners-up in Hashimoto and Hirata who are seeded 4th this week. The bottom half of the draw is very much a Indonesia/Japan rivalry, with both nations claiming two seeds in this half of the draw. 2nd seeded Ahsan and Septano will be the duo to pair, with team-mates Chandra and Gunawan being the main threat in the bottom half of the draw. The Japanese pair of Endo and Hayakawa, seeded 7 and the 6th seeded Kawamae and Sato hoping to cause an upset to reach Sunday’s final.
Japan claim four seeds in the women’s doubles, including the 1st and 2nd seed. Maeda and Suetsuna are the top seeds this week, with Fujii and Kakiiwa taking the second seed, Matsuo and Niato are seeded 6 and 7th seeded Takahashi and Misaki. The 5th seeded Sari and Yao of Singapore have pulled out before the event to boost the 2nd seeded pairs chances of reaching the final on Sunday with only 3 seeds in the bottom half of the draw.
Thailand claim the top two seeds in the mixed doubles this week, but the main news from the week is the pre-event withdrawal of India’s main hope in this event with Gutta and Valiyaveetil who were seeded 6 this week. The top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam have a first round bye before potentially taking on the dangerous Japanese pairing of Sato and Matsuo in the second round.
The recent decision from the Chinese to try out new partnerships has caused havoc throughout the three doubles events, leading to some of the top players in the world going into tournaments unseeded. Yu and Wang in the women’s doubles are used to being seeded in the top 3 of the event but fine themselves in the lottery of the unseeded players in who they match up with in the opening round.
The men’s singles does offer some sense of normality, with all of the 7 seeds progressing into the second round. Lin Dan safely disposed of Jan O Jorgensen in the opening round in two games, whilst 6th seeded Boonsak Ponsana narrowed scraped through against Chinese qualifier Wen Kai in three games. Lee Chong Wei and Chen Jin are still on route to meet in the last 8, with both coming through their first round matches in two games. Taufik Hidayat is also through to round 2 after an impressive win over Du Pengyu in his first match of the week.
The ladies singles was also a similar story, with all the seeds progressing except the 8th seed Ella Diehl who suffered her second opening round defeat in two weeks, this time losing out to Inthanon Ratchanok of Indonesia in three games. The fall of last year’s world champion Lu Lan has never been more evident than over the past two weeks, losing to Inthanon Ratchanok in China last week and this week a first round exit to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in two games, who will now take on top seed Wang Xin in the second round. Saina Nehwal returned to Super Series action with a comfortable two game win and will have a much harder test in Round 2 against Salakjit Ponsana.
Lee and Fang, seeded 4 crashed out to the 2005 world champions, Bach and Gunawan in their opening round matchup in two games but were not the only seed to crash out in the opening round. Another Chinese Taipei pair, Chen and Lin also lost in the first round. Chai and Guo of China defeating the 8th seeds in two games to book their place in the second round. There was little trouble for the top seeds in the men’s doubles, #1 seeds Koo and Tan progressed easily with a two game victory and the 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan joined the top seeds in the second round with their own two game victory.
Only 6 seeds progressed in the women’s singles, with the 8th seeded Ha and Jung as well as 7th seeded Zhang and Zhang crashed out in the first round. The match of the day tomorrow will undoubtably be the second round match between Zhao and Cheng who take on the unseeded Chinese pair of Wang and Yu as this match could easily be a matchup in a final in 2011 should the two partnerships stick together into next year.
Half of the seeds in the mixed doubles lost in their opening round matchups, some due to new Chinese partnerships whilst others were disappointing performances from the higher ranked partnership. 4th seeded Robertson and Wallwork crashed out to Yoo and Kim of Korea in three games, 7th seeded Voravichitchaikul and Anugritayawon of Thailand lost out to the new Chinese pairing of Xu and Yu in a tight three game match. 3rd seeded Thoungthongkam and Prapakamol were defeated in impressive fashion by He and Ma of Chinese and the 2nd seeded Marissa and Gunawan lost to Malaysians Chan and Goh in three games. The top seeded Mateusiak and Zieba take on last weeks winning pair Jiaming and Tian in their second round match to test their title credentials tomorrow.
Lee Chong Wei against Lin Dan was the perfect final for the final match of the Asian Games, with the Malaysian’s last hope for gold lying with the world #1. China had secured the first two golds in the women’s singles and women’s doubles and looked for gold number 3 and 4 on the last day of the Badminton.
Tian and Zhao won China’s first gold on Friday evening, defeating Wang and Yu in three games to ensure a gold and silver for China in the opening final. Wang Shixian defeated Wang Xin in the women’s singles final in two games after an a couple of impressive wins over Ai Goto and Yip Pui Yin before defeating her Chinese team mate. Wang Xin was also in excellent form over the week, especially in her 21-7, 21-15 win over Eriko Hirose in the semi final.
Malaysia’s first chance at gold came in the men’s doubles final with Koo and Tan taking on Indonesia’s Kido and Setiawan. The Indonesian pair had scrapped their way into the final, with every one of their games going to three games to reach the final. Koo and Tan had survived their own three game matchup against Hirata and Hashimoto in the quarter finals. The final, unsurprisingly went to three games and the experts of three game victories, Kido and Setiawan took gold in three tight games, winning 16-21, 26-24, 21-19.
Lee Hyo Jung won another major title, this time without Lee Yong Dae as her mixed doubles partner. This time, it was Shin Baek Cheol in the mixed doubles who defeated Zhang and Zhao in an excellent two game victory as China failed to win gold number 3 at the games.
However, Lin Dan would secure gold number 3 for China. After an impressive run to the final, he would meet world #1 Lee Chong Wei who had to battle through two matches that went the full distance, including a semi final against Chen Jin. Lin Dan secured the opening game 21-13 before Lee Chong Wei fought back to win the second game, 21-15. However, it was the Lin Dan of old that showed up in the deciding game to secure his first Asian Games gold medal, taking the final game 21-10 to win China’s 3rd individual gold of the games.
After a long road and lots of badminton the big winners at the 2010 Commonwealth Games were Malaysia and hosts India. While these two teams were the gold and silver medalists respectively in the team event, they split the individual golds 3-2. First off in the mixed doubles Malaysian super star Koo Kien Keat would win his first gold of the tournament along with partner Chin Eei Hui. The Malaysian pair defeated England’s Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork 22-20, 21-12. Next would be India’s turn to win their first badminton gold of the tournament. Jwalla Gutta and Ashwini Ponnapa took on Singapore’s Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari and won in two relatively close games 21-16, 21-19.
In spite of Rajiv Ouseph’s strong ability as a mens singles player he was far outclassed when Lee Chong Wei proved once again why he is the number one ranked player in the world. The domineering Malaysian destroyed Ouseph in two fast games 21-8, 21-10 to win his second consecutive Commonwealth Games title.
In the men’s doubles Koo Kien Keat would yet again dash Nathan Robertson’s hopes of a gold medal. Koo partnered with Tan Boon Heong to defeat Robertson and his partner Anthony Clark 21-19, 21-14.
Finally the highlight match of the day for the home crowd was their favourite player Saina Nehwal’s match against Malaysian Wong Mew Choo. Saina was close to being defeated after losing the first game 19-21, and was forced to pull out a close second game 22-20. Saina took the match in the end by winning the third game 21-13 and won her first Commonwealth Games gold medal.
Lee Chong Wei has successfully negotiated the early rounds and defeated the two seeds in his half of the draw in the quarters, then defeating Chetan Anand in the semi finals to set up the gold medal match against England’s Rajiv Ouseph who defeated another Indian in the 5th seeded Parupalli to set up Thursday’s final.
India’s big hope for gold comes from Saina Nehwal, as she successfully progressed into Thursday’s final after beating Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff in the semi final in two games to set up a gold medal match against Mew Choo Wong of Malaysia. The 2nd seed defeated England’s Elizabeth Cann in three games to book her place in Thursday’s final. Cann will take on Egelstaff tomorrow in a rematch of their 2006 bronze medal match for a chance of a medal in 2010.
Top seeds Koo and Tan of Malaysia are through to Thursday’s final against the 2nd seeded English pair of Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark. The top seeded Malaysians have failed to drop a game on route to the final whilst the English pair had to come through a tight three game match over Triyacha and Wong of Singapore.
India has a second chance of gold in the women’s doubles, with 2nd seeds Gutta and Machiman progressing to Thursday’s final against Singapore’s top seed Sari and Yao, who defeated the 3rd seeded English pair of Wallwork and White in two games to book their place in the gold medal match on Thursday.
Nathan Robertson’s second chance at gold is also Koo Kien Keat’s second chance also as the pair match up in the mixed doubles final also. Top seeded Robertson partners Jenny Wallwork against the unseeded Malaysian pair of Koo and Chin, who have partnered up just for the Commonwealth Games. They defeated the 2nd seeded Gutta and Valiya in the quarter finals and then 3rd seeded Triyacha and Yao of Singapore in the semi finals.
While hardly a huge surprise it was nonetheless a weight lifted off of the Malaysia team’s shoulders today when they secured yet another team event gold medal. Looking back on the history of the games we see only England and Malaysia have ever taken the team title.
The event started out with Malaysia’s doubles super star Koo Kien Keat partnering up with Chin Ee Hui in the mixed doubles against Jwala Gutta and Diju Valiya Veetil. This was an important match for Malaysia to win since their strength lies in their men’s team, and a loss in the mixed would put them in serious danger. However, in spite of going to three games the Malaysian pair managed to pull out the win 21-14, 10-21, 21-10 to secure the first point in the tie.
Perhaps the most assured win for Malaysia would come from the men’s singles with world number 1 Lee Chong Wei taking on Kashyap Parupalli. A surprising choice by the India team to field Parupalli as he is India’s third ranked singles player behind both Chetan Anand and Arvind Bhat at number 32 in the world. Regardless the Indian shuttler faired well against Lee in the first game posting a 21-18 score and seemed a legitimate threat. However, in the second game he failed to maintain the same pressure and was easily disposed of 21-7 putting Malaysia up 2-0 in the tie.
The only loss of the day came at the hands of India’s superstar women’s singles player Saina Nehwal who also happens to be the tournaments top seed in the individual event. Saina faced off against Wong Mew Choo who managed to sneak out a close first game 26-24. It was a good start for the Malaysian but Saina managed to pull things back in her favour in the second 21-17 to set up a final deciding game. This also went in the Indian’s favour as she went on to win the match, and India’s first point in the tie, 24-26, 21-17, 21-14.
To seal victory Malaysia brought out more of their superstars as world number one men’s doubles pairing Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong took to the court against Thomas Sanava and Rupesh Kumar. The Indian pairing are strong players in their own right, but they were no match for Koo and Tan who won the match 21-12, 21-19 to win Malaysian second consecutive team gold in the Commonwealth Games.
In the bronze medal match England defeated Singapore 3-1 with two of their points coming from victories by Nathan Robertson in the mens doubles and mixed doubles.
Stay tuned here for more reports as we start the individual events.
The all-conquering Chinese stormed into all five finals, three of being all-Chinese finals with only Taufik Hidayat as well as the partnership of Koo and Tan in the doubles breaking up the Chinese monopoly.
The mixed doubles final was the first meeting between Zheng and Ma, the 8th seed against the 6th seed He and Yu in the first of the all-Chinese finals. The match went in the favour of Zheng and Ma from the start, only giving up the lead in the middle part of first game at 10-11 before winning 11 of the next 14 points to take the opening game 21-14. The second game was more of the same dominating play from the 8th seeds as they pulled out an early 7-2 advantage and took the second game and their first world title, winning the match 21-14, 21-10.
Taufik Hidayat entered the final in a superb run of form after his quarter final win over Lee Chong Wei and semi final against Park Sung Hwan. His opponent was also in excellent form after his three-game win over Peter Gade in the semi final. The match promised a lot but it was a one-sided encounter that was dominated by the Chinese player. Hidayat failed to even take a lead in the final, with Chen Jin winning 21-15, 21-13.
The second all-Chinese final was in the women’s singles as Wang Lin took on Wang Xin and unlike the previous two finals, it was a highly competitive encounter that went all the way to a third and final game. Wang Lin took the initiative in the final game and after a tight opening to the third game that seen her 8-10 down, she reeled off 5 points in a row to take a lead that she would never give up to win her first world title, taking the match 21-11, 19-21, 21-13 in 58 minutes.
Yu Yang had her chance for revenge after her mixed doubles defeat over Ma Jin in the women’s doubles final and duely delivered with the most one-sided of the matches on finals day in Paris. The 21-9, 21-17 victory was a 39 minute encounter and was the third win in a row for Yu and Du over their Chinese team-mates.
Cai and Fu usually always deliver an memorable final such as last year, this year they took on the top seeded Koo and Tan of Malaysia for a chance of a clean sweep of titles for China. They lost their opening game to the top seeded Malaysians, only to fight back to take it into another deciding game like the 2009 final. There was no repeat of the 2009 final as the 5th seeds dominated the 3rd game to retain their world championship and complete the Chinese sweep as well as five wins for the lower seed in the matches played today.