In the opinion of Roger Johansson, FISU technical delegate for badminton, student players are getting better and better. In any case, a growing number of men and women take part in other high-level international events. At the last edition of the championships in Thailand, the great badminton countries were all there: Korea, Japan, China, Chinese Taipei and of course Thailand itself. Generally speaking, badminton is a sport that is still very popular with the student community. It's a lot of fun, and needs very lightweight infrastructures, so it is a modern discipline that can easily be set up on campuses. Traditionally, Asian countries are particularly brilliant at the World University Badminton Championships. Since the first edition in Cyprus in 1990, that's the way it has been. And was again in the 2004 edition held in Bangkok. The eighth WUC badminton was dominated head and shoulders by the teams from China, Chinese Taipei and Thailand. At the ninth World University Badminton Championship, overcoming the Chinese, who were playing at home this time, proved not just difficult, it was downright impossible... The championship was organized in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province. The fully renovated sports complex had 10 courts for the competition and six more for practice in the "China University of Geosciences". In the opinion of Mr. Johansson this sports facility was one of the best ever proposed for a FISU
16 countries were represented in the tournament and for the first time, there was a team event as well. In fact, the competition started with that event. Four teams stood out above all the rest to vie with each other in the semi-finals: Russia and Germany on one hand, China and Chinese Taipei on the other. The semi-finals were long and indecisive. Finally Russia and China took the games for their regularity and their quality play, and faced each other in the final. Unfortunately, the final was less interesting, as the Chinese team, decidedly too good for the Russians, strode easily to victory. In any case, the first days of the competition showed the high level the athletes had reached, which was confirmed in the single and double events. As was expected, China and Chinese Taipei were very ambitious in the championship, and rightly so: China had four men and five women in the semi-finals, while in that same phase, Chinese Taipei, had seven men and five women! The other contestants came from France, Russia, Great Britain and Japan. Only Japan reached a final (in the ladies’ doubles) to vie with the Chinese.
CHN vs. JPN
The men's singles were 100% Chinese. Gong Wei-Jie faced Kai Wen. It took three sets and 50 minutes for the former to take the gold medal. A second title for China. The women's singles opposed Ming-Jie Pai from Chinese Taipei to Chinese Yi-Han Wang. Three sets in a very close match and Yi-Han took the day. A third title for China! The men's doubles could only go to Chinese Taipei. After all, both of the finalist teams came from the same country. Hats off to Huang/Chen who overcame Chien/Lin in three tight sets in 48 minutes. A word of homage here to the Japanese team Wakita/Muramatsu that rivalled a formidable Chinese couple Pan/Feng in the women's doubles. This one-way match gave Pan Pan and Chen Feng the gold without a struggle in two sets (25 minutes playing time). And a fourth title for China ... Finally, in the mixed doub
The FISU flag is passed to the organizers of the next WUC Badminton in Braga, Portugal in 2008
les, again the battle was between compatriots as two Chinese teams rose to the finals. Han-Bin He and Chen Feng got the better of Li-Hua Zhu and Lin Chen in two quick sets. Fifth and last title for China!
Badminton will be among the optional sports at the Bangkok Universiade in 2007. We are expecting a considerable increase in participation, as is often the case when a sport is included in the Universiade programme. Once again, the Asian countries will be present on all fronts, but who knows, perhaps one of the other countries may manage to shine. In any case, make an appointment already today for the next World University Badminton Championship in 2008 in Braga, Portugal.
Medal Podium Women's Doubles
Medal Podium Mixed Doubles
Male Athletes: 57
Female Athletes: 54
Total Participants: 111