London Olympics badminton: China win women`s doubles gold
London: China won the badminton women`s doubles gold here at the Olympics Saturday, despite the country`s top seeds being thrown out for match-fixing, underlining their domination of the sport.
Zhao Yunlei and Tian Qing, the No. 2 seeds, beat the fourth-seeded Japanese pair of Reika Kakiiwa and Mizuki Fujii in straight sets 21-10, 25-23.
It`s a second gold of the Games for Zhao, who teamed up with Zhang Nan to take the mixed title Friday.
Four pairs were removed from the competition after the group phase for attempting to lose their matches to a more favourable draw in the knockout stages.
No. 1 seeds in the women`s doubles, Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China, were excluded along with two Korean pairs, Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na and Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung.
In Saturday`s final, the Chinese pair took the first game in a canter.
The second was more gruelling as the Japanese dug in.
They were neck-and-neck at 18-all, when Fujii netted a serve and put a routine lift out.
The Chinese peppered the Japanese with smashes to earn a match point, which Japan saved through a bewildering defence.
It was then China`s turn to save a Japanese game point, taking it to 21-21.
An easy net kill gave the Chinese their second gold medal point, which Zhao netted to restore parity, before China went on to scupper a third for 23-23.
Finally, Zhao made no mistake with a smash at the net to secure the gold.
Zhao and Tian beat teams from Chinese Taipei and Russia in the knockout stages.
Kakiiwa and Fujii dispatched Danish and Canadian teams.
Earlier Saturday, India and Russia grabbed their first-ever badminton medals at the Olympics.
Russian pair Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova crushed Canada`s Alex Bruce and Li Michele to take bronze in the women`s doubles.
In the singles, India`s Saina Nehwal won women`s singles bronze when her opponent Wang Xin broke down with a knee injury after taking the opening game.