It was double heartbreak for Denmark at the Yonex World Badminton Championship at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium in Paris today.
Peter Hoeg Gade saw his dreams of landing the coveted title disappear when he went down to China’s sole representative in the men’s singles, Chen Jin 21-19, 8-21,
The Dane was superb in the first set and sent Chen Jin, the losing finalist in the 2009 edition, scurrying all over the court with his neat drop shots. But the long rallies would take the toll on Gade despite winning the first set 21-19.
“ He was just too good today and credit to him for winning. I was trying my lvel best but against Chen Jin one has to take his game to the next level,” said Gade.
It was all Chen Jin in the second as he romped home 21-8 and in the third the fourth seed led 10-2 at one stage before confirming his place in the final with a 21-11.
“After the defeat of my two higher ranked teammates, I knew I just had to make the final to make up for the disappointment,” said Chen Jin.
“My first aim was to make the final and I will go all out to win in order to make up for my defeat in last year’s championships.”
And Wang Lin made sure of an all-Chinese final in women’s singles when she defeated Europe’s great hope, in the likes of Tine Baun in the semifinals this morning, winning 21-11, 21-8 in 31 minutes.
The other semifinal later this evening will see Xin Wang who is the third seed battling it out with counterpart Wang Shixian for a place in the final against the seventh seeded Wang Lin.
Wang Lin was a class above Tine as she moved around the court with relative easy, retrieving all that Tine could muster and opting to let the Dane make the mistakes.
Wang, a semi-finalist at the last 2009 World Championships was in complete control of the match from the first game when she took a 10-4 lead. Tine was uncharacteristically error-prone. The back court which is a strong point for the Dane became her biggest weakness as she made wrong line judgments giving away precious points. Even her net play, normally very sound was also error-prone.
Wang’s cause was helped by the fact that Tine was carrying an elbow injury and that prevented the Dane from playing her normal game.
“I made too many judgmental mistakes and was unable to smash effectively as the elbow really hurt,” conceded Tine.
“Wang knew that I was in pain and took advantage of the situation. In order to beat the Chinese one has to be at their best so there was no way I could match her.”
As for Wang, making the final meant that she has to beat one of her teammates for the title.
“My coach (Zhang Ning) was happy after I won as she said she could now go shopping as China was assured of the women’s singles title,” said Wang.
“I went out there knowing that I could beat Tine if I play the correct game and am glad it worked out well.”
In the mixed doubles, Zheng Bo/Ma Jin qualified for the finals after defeating South Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun/Ha Eun Jung 15-21,21-11,21-16 in 72 minutes and will take on Ho Hanbin/Yu Yang in another all Chinese affair on the final day.
Ho Hanbin/Yu Yang defeated Lee Sheng Mu/Chien Yu Chin of Chinese Taipei 21-13, 21 to qualify for the final.
Despite losing the first set, the Chinese pair oozed with confidence and look good for the title with their strong defensive play, especially Ma Jin at the net.
“We were not worried after losing the first set as we knew that we could beat them and it was just a matter of getting our act together,” said Zheng Bo.
“Our confidence was further boosted with the presence of our chief coach Li Yongbo at the back of the courts and he kept encouraging us all the way besides providing us with invaluable tips.
“As for the final, really one pair has to win and the other will lose. We are prepared for such eventualities but will give it our best shot tomorrow.”