Badminton Life

Jiang Triumphs in China

China's Jiang Yanjiao emphasised the depth of talent available in her country when she swept to victory at the China Open Super Series women's singles tournament over the weekend.

The unseeded Jiang claimed the title after beating another surprise finalist, compatriot Zhu Jingjing, in the final 21-15, 21-13.

The big names fell early with Hong Kong's top seed Zhou Mi losing in the quarter-finals to Zhu while Olympic silver medallist Xie Xingfang, the fourth seed, lost to Jiang, also in the last eight.

All except one of Jiang's victories came against Chinese opponents. The exception was the second round, where she beat Hong Kong's Wang Chen 21-19, 19-21, 21-18.

It was the only time in the tournament that she was taken to three games. Before that, she defeated another rising Chinese player, Wang Yihan 21-18, 21-18 in the first round.

After beating Hong Kong's Wang, Jiang overcame Xie before upsetting fifth-seeded Chiense girl Zhu Lin 21-16, 21-11 in the semi-finals.

Zhu opened the tournament by beating Macau's Ying Long 21-12, 21-11 after which she eliminated Malaysia's seventh seed Wong Mew Choo 21-11, 21-14.

Then came her surprisingly easy 21-11, 21-11 victory over world number one Zhou. Next on her list of victims was Wang Lin, who put up a struggle in the semi-finals before going down 14-21, 21-12, 21-9.

All England champion Tine Rasmussen, of Denmark, also failed to make a major impact on the tournament.

Rasmussen, the third seed, had a promising start with a 22-24, 21-9, 21-14 victory against unseeded Chinese entry Liu Jie.

However, she then suffered a shock exit at the hands of Malaysian Julia Wong Pei Xian, who scored a 22-20, 10-21, 21-10 victory over the experienced Dane.

Other high-profile names to lose early were Germany's eighth-seeded Xu Huaiwen and France's Pi Hongya, the sixth seed.

Xu beat South Korea's Hwang Hye-youn in the first round 21-5, 21-19 but then fell to China's Wang Lin 21-17, 21-15.

Pi didn't even manage to get out of the first round, losing to Wang Chen 17-21, 21-13, 21-12.

India's rising star Saina Nehwal also failed to win a match. She went down to fifth-seeded Zhu Lin but not before taking her to three games in a thrilling 21-6, 12-21, 21-19 defeat.

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