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China secures Asian Games men’s singles badminton gold
Published on: Saturday, October 07, 2023
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China secures Asian Games men’s singles badminton gold
India’s anti-doping agency has provisionally suspended a 14-year-old swimmer from competing after testing positive for a banned substance ahead of next month’s Asian Games in China. (AFP pic)
HANGZHOU: China’s rising star Li Shifeng stormed into the badminton men’s singles final at the Hangzhou Asian Games by beating Prannoy Haseena Sunil Kumar of India yesterday.

Li will face compatriot Shi Yuqi in the final, guaranteeing gold and silver medals for China.

The 23-year-old Li triumphed 21-16, 21-9 in 51 minutes, ending his winless streak against Kumar, as he had done against Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the quarterfinal a day earlier, said Xinhua.

“I haven’t won against Prannoy before and I feel very happy to beat such an opponent,” said Li. “I’m just trying to do my best.”

On his Asian Games debut, Li has not dropped one game across team and singles events so far.

“To be honest, I have been tired recently, but I have adjusted my mindset well, and the cheers of the audience also makes me more competitive and motivated,” Li stated.

Shi then followed suit, ousting second seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan 21-5, 21-15.

In their latest encounter, the All England Open final in March, Li defeated Shi in straight games.

“I want to face Shi as it means China is set to sweep the gold and silver medals,” said Li.

In the women’s singles, world No 1 An Se-young of South Korea sailed past China’s He Bingjiao 21-10, 21-13, and will contend for her 10th individual title this season.

The 21-year-old talent is considered the most outstanding player this year as she became the first South Korean female to be crowned world champion in the singles category, and rose to world No 1 in August.

“My moving ability is good, which is my advantage,” said An.

“Trying hard has become my habit, and I have no other secrets, I just concentrate on training,” she added.

An’s final opponent is home favourite Chen Yufei, who bounced back to knock out Japan’s Aya Ohori 18-21, 21-10, 21-8.

In the mixed doubles, top seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong rallied to beat newly-crowned world champions Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung 13-21, 21-15, 21-16. The Chinese duo will play against Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, who dispatched fellow Chinese pair Feng Yanzhe and Huang Dongping in full games.

“They defended well and we prepared specifically for it before the match,” said Zheng.

The men’s doubles final will pit South Korea’s Choi Sol-gyu and Kim Won-ho against India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, and the women’s doubles title contention features China’s Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan against Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na of South Korea.

Gold medals in five categories will be awarded on Saturday. — Bernama-Xinhua

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