China golden in women's doubles badminton
BEIJING (AP) Du Jing and Yu Yang gave China its first gold medal of the Olympic badminton tournament, and at least one more is sure to follow.
Second-seeded Du and Yu overpowered the fourth-seeded Koreans on their way to a 21-15, 21-13 win and China's second medal of the tournament.
Earlier, top-seeded Xie Xingfang and defending champion Zhang Ning both advanced to the final of women's singles, assuring China the gold and silver medals on Saturday.
Du and Yu took control of the match in the second game with a seven-point run to make it 20-12 before winning when Lee Hyo-jung's return on match point went out.
"Winning the gold medal is a new start for us," said Du. "We are both young and I'm sure this win will motivate us to go forward."
Friday's win was especially reassuring for China. Defending Olympic champions and top-seeded Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen were eliminated in the quarterfinals of women's doubles.
China won three out of five gold medals in Athens and will be looking to better that tally here.
South Korea's Lee Kyung-won had her left ankle taped early in the first game with China leading 9-8 and said it contributed to the loss.
"It could have been a factor," said Lee. "But even if I had been in perfect shape it would have been tough to beat them."
Lee said she wasn't pleased with the officiating in the tournament.
"It was a privilege to play here in China but I thought things would be more fair," said Lee. "In both the semifinals and the final there were way too many faults."
China's Wei Yili and Zhang Yawen took the bronze medal with a 21-17, 21-10 win over Japan's Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna, who had beaten defending Olympic champions and top-seeded Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen of China in the quarterfinals.
After a closely contested first game, the third-seeded Zhang and Wei raced out to a 7-0 lead in the second game and never looked back. Suetsuna and Maeda committed a series of unforced errors to start the second game and couldn't recover.
Japan has never won a medal in Olympic badminton.
In men's singles, top-seeded China's Lin Dan defeated compatriot Chen Jin 21-12, 21-18 to advance to the final, where he will meet second-seeded Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
Lee kept Malaysia's best hope for an Olympic gold medal alive, defeating South Korea's Lee Hyun-il 21-18, 13-21, 21-13 to advance to Sunday's final.