China’s world No. 1 Lin Dan clinched gold in the Olympic badminton yesterday, outclassing Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei and avenging his first round loss in Athens four years ago.
World champion Lin produced a silky smooth performance that left second seed Lee hopelessly out-gunned, winning 21-12, 21-8 and sparking wild celebrations from the packed Chinese crowd.
The loss was heartbreak for the mild-mannered Lee and for Malaysia which had been counting on their champion to deliver the country’s first ever Olympic gold in any sport.
But with the weight of a nation on his shoulders, Lee made a series of costly errors in the first game as Lin, with a packed Chinese crowd screaming their support, produced brilliant badminton.
Lee clawed his way back in the first, but Lin held his nerve, aggressively attacking the net to wrap up the first game.
Lin, the back-to-back world champion, raced to a 7-0 lead before Lee started to chip away as Lin, sensing victory, made several mistakes. But the Chinese star, who has been the world No. 1 for most of the last four years, then steadied and stormed to victory.
China’s Chen Jin won bronze after he defeated South Korea’s champion Lee Hyunil in the play-off.
Earlier, South Korea’s Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae won the gold medal in the mixed doubles, defeating Indonesia’s Liliyana Natsir and Nova Widianto in straight sets.
The unseeded South Koreans defeated the top-seeded Indonesians 21-11, 21-17.
It was South Korea’s third medal of the Olympic badminton tournament.
China’s Yu Yang and He Hanbin won the bronze medal with a 21, 21-17, 23-21 win over Indonesia’s Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa.
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