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Hosts sweep Masters in Changzhou

CHINA swept the China Masters Super Series after world and Olympic champion Lin Dan beat Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana 21-17, 21-17 in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, yesterday.

The men's singles was the only clash that saw a non-Chinese player compete in the final as the host had already booked four all-Chinese finals.

Lin, a three-time world champion and Beijing Olympic winner, did not give much room to the Thai player in the 40-minute final amid thunderous cheers.

In the mixed doubles, title favorites Xie Zhongbo and his partner Zhang Yawen left the final against another Chinese pair, Tao Jiaming and Wang Xiaoli, trailing at 21-13, 19-21, 4-8 after Xie took ill.

"He did not feel too well and went to hospital," Chinese head coach Li Yongbo revealed.

Teenager Wang Shixian grabbed the women's singles title after a stunning 21-14, 14-21, 21-14 win over world No. 2 Wang Lin.

Wang Shixian, 19, continued to play the role of giantkiller when she edged her second-seeded compatriot in 58 minutes, nailing 33 net winners to her rival's 18.

"I used the right strategy of going to the net and I also won some lucky points," said the 64th-ranked player.

Wang Shixian had earlier overcome newly crowned world champion Lu Lan, seeded fifth, 16-21, 21-11, 21-14 in the semifinal after beating All England champion and fourth seed Wang Yihan 21-18, 21-18.

Lu, 22, Wang Yihan, 21 and Wang Lin, 20, are dubbed "small flowers" in the national first string team which Wang Shixian is yet to join. "Of course I hope I can be selected into the top-flight team. I will work harder as I am aware of the gap between those three and me," she said.

Beijing Olympic winners Du Jing and Yu Yang overcame teammates Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei 21-15, 21-15 to capture the women's doubles title.

World champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng withdrew from the men's doubles final due to Cai's injury, surrendering the title to Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen.


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