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August 17, 2009

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Home » Sports » Badminton

Four of five for Chinese shuttlers

OLYMPIC champion Lin Dan completed a record hat-trick of world badminton championship titles by overcoming Chen Jin in an all-Chinese final in Hyderabad, south India, yesterday.

The 25-year-old, nicknamed "Super Dan", began cautiously before stamping his authority over world No. 2 Chen, winning 21-18, 21-16 in 45 minutes.

Seventh seed Lu Lan dashed Lin's girlfriend Xie Xingfang's hopes for a third title by winning the women's final 23-21, 21-12.

China, the badminton powerhouse, pocketed four titles after also triumphing in the women's and men's doubles.

Lin, the fifth seed, extended his supremacy in the game, having won the 2006 and 2007 world titles before clinching the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics last year.

"I'm very happy to win three times, I hope in future also I can have better performances," Lin said in a courtside interview through an interpreter.

"The Chinese team training has been very effective. That is why I have been able to sustain my performances for three days."

Despite facing stiff tests against Danish former world No. 1 Peter Gade and Indonesian 2007 world runner-up Sony Dwi Kuncoro in previous rounds, Lin was ready for in-form Chen.

Chen, 23, rallied from 6-11 down by denying Lin many openings at the net and successfully engaging the left-hander in rallies until Lin regained control to wrap up the first game.

Chen raised hopes of a fightback as the pair traded fast-paced rallies in the second game, the finest lasting over a minute which Chen won with a crosscourt smash to level at 14-14.

However, Lin quickly shifted gears to race to match point at 20-15. Although Chen saved one, the contest ended in anti-climax when he made a service fault.

In the women's final, Lu showed her semifinal win over teammate and world No. 2 Wang Lin was no fluke, edging past her 28-year-old rival on extra points in the first game.

Lu dominated the second game with court speed and smashes to Xie's backhand before sealing victory when the Beijing Olympic silver medalist sent a return long.

Mental strength

"It was my mental strength, the fighting spirit was really there," said a delighted Lu. "It was tough, especially in the first game, up against my teammate."

China had dropped reigning women's champion Zhu Lin due to poor form.

Chinese eighth seeds Zhang Yawen and Zhao Tingting won the women's doubles, upstaging teammates and second seeds Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei 17-21, 21-17, 21-16. In the men's doubles, fifth seeds Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng outlasted Jung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae, the fourth-seeded from South Korea, 21-18, 16-21, 28-26.

Denmark won the mixed doubles final when seventh seeds Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl upset Indonesian second seeds Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir 21-13, 21-17.


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