Gold for Indonesia and South Korea
Indonesia reclaimed their status as men's doubles superpowers when Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido stormed to the Olympic badminton title in Beijing.
|The world number one pair beat China's Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng 12-21, 21-11, 21-16 in a fast and furious 49 minutes to win the gold medal. |
Their victory denied China their hoped-for clean sweep of all five badminton gold medals on offer at the Beijing Olympics.
South Korea's Lee Jae-jin and Jwang Ji-man won the bronze medal by beating Denmark's Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen in the third-fourth play-off match.
The Chinese pair, ranked number three in the world, came into the final as slight favourites, given their home advantage and the fact that they had not dropped a game in prior matches.
And it appeared that the Chinese would have it all their way after they powered to a convincing 21-12 victory in the first game.
However, the Indonesians decided to go into the attack in the second game, racing to a 9-3 lead and successfully upset the Chinese pair's rhythm. They eventually won the game 21-11.
The decider also saw the Indonesians gain an early advantage, which they held on to despite the Chinese putting up a fierce late fightback.
It was Indonesia's first gold medal of the Beijing games.
The Indonesians were denied a second gold medal in the mixed doubles final, where Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae took the title.
The unseeded pairing surprised Indonesia's top-ranked Liliyana and Nova Widianto 21-11, 21-17 in only 39 minutes.
China's He Hanbin and Yu Yang won the bronze medal with a 19-21, 21-17, 23-21 victory over Indonesia's Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa in the third-place play-off.
Liliyana and Widiano were overwhelming favourites to give Indonesia gold but they did not count on the skill, speed and tenacity of the South Korean pair.
The Koreans dominated their opponents in the first game, and, although the Indonesians played better in the second, they were unable to knock the Koreans off their stride.
It was Korea's only gold medal of the badminton tournament. In the final count, China reaffirmed themselves as the best in the world with three gold medals with Indonesia and South Korean sharing the other two.
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