Winners with Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan and other dignitaries during the presentation ceremony.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Dubai Top seeds China were stretched to four matches at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships but retained the title with a comfortable 3-1 victory over South Korea.
Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, presented the trophy to the winners in the presence of Badminton Asia, UAE Badminton Federation and Dubai Sports Council officials.
At Dubai Exhibition Centre in Expo City, China raced to a 2-0 lead with wins in straight games for Lei Lan Xi in the men’s singles, followed by a similar result for Gao Fang Jie in the women’s singles.
Lei, ranked 121st in the World Rankings, beat Lee Yun Gyu 21-16, 21-15 in just 47 minutes, while Gao, ranked 101st in women’s singles, needed three extra minutes but gave away one less point in her 21-15, 21-15 defeat of Kim Ga Eun.
However, China’s hopes of closing the final in three matches did not materialise as the men’s doubles turned out to be a thriller.
The South Korean pair of Kim Won Ho and Na Sung Seung fought back after losing the first game rather tamely to beat He Ji Ting and Zhou Hao Dong 19-21, 21-16, 21-17.
The match lasted an energy-sapping one hour and 15 minutes.
In what turned out to be the final match, the youthful power of Liu Sheng Shu and Tan Ning prevailed over the experience of Jeong Na Eun and Lee So Hee.
The Chinese women’s doubles team won 21-11, 21-10 which saw some dour defending from the Koreans early in the match.
The first point saw a 67-shot rally, followed by an even longer 89-shot rally for the second point and a 112-shot rally for the sixth point.
But once the Chinese pair overcame that session of play, it was smooth sailing for the duo.
India, who lost 3-2 to China on Saturday, and Thailand, defeated 3-1 by Korea, picked up the bronze medals.
China won the championship in 2019 when they beat Japan 3-2 in Hong Kong, and the 2021 edition in Wuhan was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.