Badminton Life

China Coach Happy with Three Gold Medals

Although China failed in their bid for a clean sweep of badminton gold medals at the Olympics, national coach Li Yongbo was satisfied with the team's overall performance.

A five-gold haul was still on the cards even as the events reached their quarter-final stage. But Indonesia had other thoughts in the men's doubles and South Korea reigned in the mixed doubles to share the glory with the Chinese.

In all, China won three gold medals from men's singles, women's singles and women's doubles. They also won two silvers and three bronzes - an excellent performance by any standards that maintains China's reputation as the world's number one badminton nation.

Li said it was unfair to compare this team with previous Olympic squads because the game is now played to 21 points, irrespective of serve, instead of the previous 15-point service system.

"There were some good performances and the young players showed some very good potential," Li told Chinese media. "We will have a good rest and have a celebration party after the Games."

Lee was particularly pleased with the performance of women's doubles gold medallist Du Jing and Yu Yang, mixed doubles bronze medallist He Hanbin and men's singles bronze medallist Chen Jin.

The most convincing performance came from Lin Dan in the men's singles. The world number one and world champion was eager to bounce back from his early loss at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

And he did so in style, not dropping a single game as he thrashed Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in the final.

Lin was hoping his girlfriend, Xie Xingfang, would make it a golden double for China in the women's singles.

But world number one Xie was unable to deliver as she fell to compatriot and defending Olympic champion Zhang Ning.

At 33, Zhang had been written off but she showed he very much belonged to the Olympic elite as she battled through injury to claim her second straight gold medal.

It has been an excellent year for China in terms of team sports. Apart from their Olympic performance, China won the men's Thomas Cup and women's Uber Cup events in Jakarta in May.

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