China wins women's badminton doubles gold

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Chinese badminton players Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei outplayed Japanese pair Fujii Mizuki/Kakiiwa Reika 2-0 Saturday afternoon, winning the gold medals in women's doubles.

The world No. 2 seed duo breezed past the Japanese in the first game 21-10, before winning a hard battle in the second 25-23.

The bronze fell into pockets of Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova from Russia.

Tian and Zhao built up their advantage quickly and overwhelmingly in the match, ending the first set by gaining six points continuously.

Facing the onslaught of attacks from the Chinese, the tenacious Japanese pair tried their best to prolong each exchange and take advantage of loopholes. They gained points alternatively, with the scores tied at 19-19.

The Chinese broke the ice first, but soon a smash from their rivals levelled their scores. Then Fujii get another point at the mistake of the Chinese. Tian and Zhao clapped hands to encourage. Chinese spectators shouted "kill" at the rhythm of their shots.

After saving the third match point, the Japanese sped up the exchanges. The shuttlecock blazed back and forth, with audiences holding their breath. With a quick block, the mixed double champion Zhao concluded the competition with one more gold for the powerhouse China.

"This is a good start," said 26-year-old Tian, whose birthday is tomorrow.

The pair were crowned at the All-England Badminton Open Championships. Zhao also clinched gold Friday with Zhang Nan in the mixed doubles.

"Each gold medal is precious and I have longed to get both," Zhao said. "I didn't have much pressure, but only concentrated in the competition."

China have two women's double pairs, one of them were disqualified for match-throwing.

"Our victory is an encouragement to many people," she said. "We are in a great team and we will be supporting each other against all odds. These medals belong to everyone."

The pair has been playing together since more than two years ago. "Hopefully we can always compete as a pair," Tian said.

The Japanese silver medallists said they were a bit nervous in the first game. "By the second game, I was enjoying myself much more," said Kakiiwa.

To her partner Fujii, "it has always been a dream of mine to be here. It was my dream for childhood," she said. "Compared to the feeling at the end of the match I am really happy to get the medal and to see the flag going up."

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