Badminton powerhouse China clinched three golds at the Badminton Asia Championships yesterday in Taipei, but they fell short of earlier expectations after losing to South Korea in the mixed doubles.
The three golds — in the women’s singles and doubles and men’s singles — compared with five they swept in the 2011 Asian tournament and four in last year’s event.
Ko Sung-hyun and Kim Ha-na of South Korea beat Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, who won the mixed doubles gold medals in London, 22-20, 21-17 in the biggest upset of the event, which drew more than 6,000 fans.
Both of China’s teams lost out in the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles, leaving two South Korean pairs to vie for the top spot.
The first-seeded Ko Sung-hyun and Lee Yong-dae saw off third-seeded Kim Ki-jung and Kim Sa-rang 21-13, 22-20.
In the women’s singles, the second-seeded Wang Yihan beat her Chinese compatriot Li Xuerui, the London gold medalist and the first seed of the event, 21-13, 22-20.
In the men’s singles, Du Pengyu, the second seed, overwhelmed Chen Long, China’s bronze medalist in last year’s Games, 21-17, 21-19.
Controversial Chinese women’s doubles team Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli saw off their Chinese fellow players Tang Jinhua and Ma Jin 21-15, 14-21, 21-15. The duo were booted out of the Olympics in a playing-to-lose scandal.