By Martin Quin Pollard HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – South Korea crushed China’s dreams in the women’s team badminton final to take gold, but elsewhere on Sunday at the Asian Games in Hangzhou the hosts fared better, including setting a new world record on the way to gold in the women’s team trap shooting. The women’s […]
Games-S.Korea beat China for badminton gold, but hosts gain shooting world record
By Martin Quin Pollard
HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – South Korea crushed China’s dreams in the women’s team badminton final to take gold, but elsewhere on Sunday at the Asian Games in Hangzhou the hosts fared better, including setting a new world record on the way to gold in the women’s team trap shooting.
The women’s team badminton final, which featured some of the top ranked players in the world, was hotly anticipated in China where the sport is hugely popular.
First out was South Korea’s world number one An Se-young, 21, against China’s world number three and Tokyo Olympics singles champion Chen Yufei, 25.
But Chen was no match for An who won 2-0 (21-12, 21-13), before An’s teammates followed suit in the doubles and the other singles match, also with 2-0 wins, for South Korea to wrap up the tie 3-0.
“I think maybe Chen was nervous,” An said after the match.”It’s the result of analysing my opponent and training hard, but it was not an easy match to win.”
LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER
At the shooting range the Chinese women’s trap team of Li Qingnian, 42, Wu Cuicui, 35, and Zhang Xinqiu, 29, set a new world record of 357 points on their way to winning gold, eclipsing the previous world best of 354 points set by the United States in 2018.
In trap competitors wield shotguns and aim at clay-based targets being fired rapidly away from the shooter at different angles.
The silver medal went to India, whose team included Rajeshwari Kumari, 31, daughter of acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia and former Asian Games champion in shooting, Randhir Singh.
“I am very happy that she won, and I am very proud that she’s won the medal for India,” said Singh. “For me, (the emotion) is doubled because I’m the president and she wins the silver medal.
“The same thing happened in 1982 when my father (Bhalindra Singh) was (Asian Games Federation) president and I won a medal (at the Delhi Games). So history is repeating itself and the legacy for the family in the sport continues.”
In the golf however India number one Aditi Ashok gave up a seven-shot lead in a final-day meltdown to lose her gold medal chance, allowing world number 206 Arpichaya Yubol to claim an unlikely title for Thailand.
Having shot a magical 61 on Saturday – the finest round of her career – Ashok had to settle for silver after closing with a five-under 77 that left her two strokes shy of the 21-year-old Thai at Hangzhou’s West Lake International golf course.
In the roller skating, where athletes fly round an oval-shaped track on inline skates in a venue akin to a velodrome or an ice speed skating arena, South Korea’s men got a one-two in the 1000m final with Taiwan getting the bronze.
In the women’s race South Korea got the bronze and Taiwan got the one-two.
“I was very nervous, and it took me a while to get used to the arena,” said women’s 1000m winner, Li Meng-chu. “It was unfamiliar to me, so to get a gold, I feel incredibly excited.
“This means a lot to me. My family and coach are watching here today, and I wanted to make them proud. Every time I win a medal, I think I’m making an improvement.”
(Reporting by Martin Quin Pollard; Additional reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Michael Perry)