Spectators filled every seat in the Shuangliu Sports Centre Gymnasium for the final five badminton events Monday evening.The first match of the evening, in mixed doubles, was claimed 21-15, 21-17 by Ye Hong-Wei and Lee Chia-Hsin against their fellow Chinese Taipei athletes Lee Fang-Chih and Teng Chun Hsun.
It was an expected result for the 16th ranked duo in the world, having competed together in several international matches. This was demonstrated by near perfect teamwork shown throughout by Ye and Lee.On the other side of the net, it’s the first competition together for Lee and Teng. Nevertheless, the pair seemed calm throughout the match.
“It’s our first time to be partners and I didn’t expect that we could get into the final. So, we feel quite relaxed and aren’t under much pressure. We look chill but feel nervous,” said the 26-year-old Fang. “It’s my first time to compete in FISU games so I just enjoy the game” added Teng, who is also a long-time partner of Lee Chia-Hsin in women’s doubles.
Later, the second gold medal for badminton became destined for the neck of China’s Han Yue’s after she handily defeated her opponent from Korea, Kim Ga Ram, 21-9, 21-13 for the women’s singles title. Han, the world’s seventh ranked player, had never previously matched up against the 21-year-old year Kim.
“She did a good job. Actually, I don’t know her much as she is young and new in this field. She is unique and has her own style,” commented Han who will now prepare for the world championship following the FISU Summer Games.
In doubles, Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan of China won the women’s event, while fellow countrymen Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang, a duo ranked number 11 in the world, claimed men’s gold.
To wrap up badminton competition in Chengdu, another Chinese athlete, Wang Zhengxing, took the last gold medal up for grabs. He faced a tough test from Thailand’s Panitchapon Teeraratsakul in the men’s singles final but ultimately prevailed in straight sets 21-16, 21-14
“My opponent caught up with me at the middle of the second set, so I tried to [push back]. The opponent wanted to score, but I tried to keep my lead instead,” commented the Wang from Hunan Normal University regarding his performance.
For Teeraratsakul, the Bangkok University student turns 19 later this year, his Monday night matchup against the home country favourite was all about new experiences. “I was so excited but nervous because it was my first time playing in a big competition.” Despite that, and based on their play, the audience could see the great, future potential in the sport for both young men.
Written by Noor Saleha Salem, FISU Young Reporter