Xhiang retains badminton gold beating World No 1 Xie

August 16th, 2008 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Xinhua
Beijing, Aug 16 (Xinhua) Thirty three year old defending champion Zhang Ning won the badminton gold medal in the Olympic women’s singles here Saturday, becoming the first Chinese woman shuttler to win the gold in successive Games. Zhang breezed past world No. 1 and teammate Xie Xingfang 21-12, 10-21 and 21-18 in the final.

It was a duel of will and courage instead of skills, as both were on the verge of exhaustion following days of fierce fights against the world’s top players.

After the rivals reached 5-5 in the opener, Xie made judgmental errors and Zhang intensified attacks to take the game 21-12.

Xie rallied in the second game to surge ahead 5-0 and maintained the lead till the end to draw parity.

In the decisive game, both used rackets to support the bodies during intervals, an indication they were drained of energy.

The two fought fiercely, and were 16-16 at one time, but Zhang was more persistent in the closing stages of the match.

Zhang burst into tears as she won the last point with Xie’s return touching the net and falling on her side.

The defending Olympic champion said Friday she would do her best to fight Xie in the final, “So I can have some sweet memories for myself.”
Xinhua

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