Indonesia wins gold in Olympic badminton
BEIJING (AP) Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan gave Indonesia its first gold medal of the Olympics on Saturday after defeating China's Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng in the badminton men's doubles final.
The top-seeded Kido and Setiawan recovered from a shaky start to win 12-21, 21-11, 21-16 over the second-seeded pair at Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium.
It was Indonesia's second badminton medal on Saturday. Maria Kristin Yulianti won bronze in women's singles earlier.
"We're thrilled to get the first gold medal for Indonesia," said Kido. "We're also happy to continue the tradition of Indonesia winning the gold medal in men's doubles."
Indonesia also won the gold medal in men's doubles in Sydney in 2000 and Atlanta in 1996.
After losing the first game, the Indonesians took control in the second game, racing out to a 9-3 lead.
They had four match points in the final game before Setiawan sealed the match with a cross-court backhand winner, prompting the Indonesians to embraced each other before being tackled by their coach.
In mixed doubles, top-seeded Liliyana Natsir and Nova Widianto of Indonesia defeated fourth-seeded He Hanbin and Yu Yang 15-21, 21-11, 23-21 in the semifinals to end China's hopes of sweeping the gold medals.
Natsir and Widianto will face Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae in Sunday's final. The South Koreans defeated third-seeded Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa 21-9, 12-21, 21-17.
The most badminton gold medals China can win now is three, the same number they won four years ago in Athens.
Earlier Saturday, defending champion Zhang Ning of China won the women's singles final, defeating teammate Xie Xingfang in three sets, to claim China's second gold medal for badminton.
The second-seeded Zhang defeated the No. 1-ranked Xie 21-12, 10-21, 21-18 to defend the title she won four years ago in Athens.
Zhang dropped to her knees and thrust both arms in the air when she won the match with a drop shot that Xie returned into the net.
The 33-year-old Zhang is playing in her last Olympics. She has been nursing an injured right knee and said winning the second gold took a lot more effort than the first.
"I thought I was too old in Athens," said Zhang. "I haven't felt good physically but I persevered and did a lot of training to win this gold. Tenacity was the key."
Indonesia's Yulianti defeated Lu Lan of China 11-21, 21-13, 21-15 for the single's bronze medal.
China's first gold medal in badminton came Friday, when Du Jing and Yu Yang won gold in women's doubles.
China's Lin Dan will go for gold in the men's singles on Sunday when he takes on Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.