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Lin leads China clean sweep

WORLD and Olympic champion Lin Dan clinched his fourth All England title as China swept four finals in Birmingham yesterday.

The former world No. 1 eased to a 21-19, 21-12 victory over current top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

Unseeded Wang Yihan added the women's singles title to China's haul when she stunned world No. 1 Tine Rasmussen of Denmark 21-19, 21-23, 21-11 in a thrilling final.

Earlier, third seeds He Hanbin and Yu Yang set the ball rolling for China by beating unseeded South Koreans Ko Sung-hyun and Ha Jung-eun 13-21, 21-15, 21-9 to take the mixed doubles crown.

The women's doubles title also went to the Asian powerhouse as seventh-seeded Zhang Yawen and Zhao Tingting saw off unseeded compatriots Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei 21-13, 21-15 in the final.

The mixed doubles final could also go China's way as Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng, the seventh seeds, were taking on South Korea's Han Sang-hoon and Hwang Ji-man in the title-decider.

Lin's match with Lee was a re-run of last year's Olympic final in Beijing where Lin won 21-12, 21-8.

It was a tougher going yesterday but, apart from a brief spell in the first game when the top seed led 19-17 Lin, seeded two, was in control.

He rattled off four points in a row to take the game and then produced an even better effort in the second, reeling off seven points in succession to race from 14-12 to 21-12 and victory.

It was a ninth triumph over his big rival in their last 10 meetings and a boost for the Chinese as he seeks to regain his place at the top of the world rankings.

Lin, making his sixth appearance in a row in the final, had won the title previously in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Keen to get through a news conference so he could go shopping, the Chinese told reporters: "There were a couple of times in the first game when I was not quite handling it but I managed to keep my form and I think I played well."

A capacity crowd of around 4,500 at the National Indoor Arena warmed to a high-class contest and there was plenty of encouragement for the runner-up.


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