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Badminton: China target four golds, but denied ‘clean sweep’ at World Champs

Li Xuerui is bidding to succeed Wang Yihan as a World Championships winner.

Li Xuerui is bidding to succeed Wang Yihan as a World Championships winner.

 

August 10, 2013: Lin Dan and Li Xuerui are in the finals of the men’s and women’s singles at the BWF World Championships in Guangzhou, while China also have representatives in the finals of the women’s and mixed doubles.

 

However, the host nation can’t repeat the clean sweep of five gold medals they achieved at last year’s Olympics and the past two World Championships after eighth seeds Cai Yun and Fu Caifeng, China’s last pair in the men’s doubles, lost 21-19, 21-17 to sixth seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan in the semi-finals.

 

The Indonesian duo will contest Sunday’s final against Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen after the third seeds edged Korea’s Kim Ki-jung Kim Sa-rang 21-23, 21-18, 21-18 in a thrilling evening battle.

 

China did secure a presence in the two other doubles competitions, although there will be no all-Chinese finals.

 

In the women’s doubles, top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang will bid for a second successive title after reaching the final with a hard-fought 21-14, 14-21, 21-15 win over Danish duo Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Ryutter Johl.

 

Korea’s Jang Ye-na and Eom Hye-won beat China’s Zhao Yunlei (above) and Tian Qing.

Korea’s Jang Ye-na and Eom Hye-won beat China’s Zhao Yunlei (above) and Tian Qing.

The holders will face Korea’s Eom Hye-won and Jang Ye-na, who beat Chinese fifth seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei 21-16, 21-19 in the earlier semi.

 

China will also go for gold in the mixed doubles, after top seeds Chen Xu and Ma Jin beat Korea’s Shin Baek-choel and Eom Hye-won 21-15, 21-17 in the semis.

 

They will face Indonesian third seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, who came from behind to beat second seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei 15-21, 21-18, 21-13. Zhang and Zhao were the defending champions and last year’s Olympics gold medallists.

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