SPORT

Ma Long completes China's golden sweep

NEW DELHI, JULY 24 . China's domination of the Asian junior championship was complete with boys' fifth seed Ma Long and unranked Feng Yalan winning the singles honours by beating their compatriots at the NDMC Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the Chinese players ensured the doubles title in all three sections and knocked out the opposition in the singles' semifinals. As a result, China claimed all five individual events to with the team titles and completed a `golden' sweep.

The boys' final proved a damp squib with top seed and World number three Zhang Jike committing far too many unforced errors during his abject surrender in five games. Ma Long, joint-8th in the world, did not have to work very hard to beat a rival whose style is quite similar to his.

Superb footwork, backed by variety of strokes on either flanks, from both players was a delight to watch. But Jike's listless display in the final, after having thrashed World junior finalist Cho Eon Rae in the morning, was huge disappointment.

Earlier, Feng Yalan proved superior to Ding Ning in six games. Feng Yalan, who survived the first-round clash against Korea's Park Seong Hye by winning the decider 17-15, continued her spirited run in an impressive manner.

Feng Yalan's relentless attacking game and brilliant anticipation surely indicate a great future for her. Though Feng Yalan dropped two games, her success on this day for never in doubt.

The results:

Boys' singles (final): Ma Long (Chn) bt Zhang Jike (Chn) 11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 3-1, 11-8. Semifinals: Jike bt Cho Eon Rae (Kor) 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6; Ma Long bt Seiya Kishikawa (Jpn) 11-9, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7.

Boys' doubles (final): Zhang Jike and Jiang Tianyi (Chn) bt Ma Long and Lin Chen (Chn) 11-9, 11-1, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8. Semifinals: Jike and Tianyi bt Wu Chih-Chi and Sun Wen Wei (Tpe) 7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 15-13.

Girls' singles (final): Feng Yalan (Chn) bt Ding Ning (Chn)11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-4. Semifinals: Ding Ning bt Liu Shiwen (Chn) 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 14-12; Feng Yalan bt Choi Moon Young (Kor) 11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4.

Girls' doubles (final): Liu Shiwen and Cai Sai (Chn) bt Jee Min Hyung and Park Seong Hye (Kor) 17-15, 12-10, 11-5. Semifinals: Hyung and Hye bt Lee I-Chen and Shu Hui Sun (Tpe) 11-9, 11-3, 11-13, 6-11, 11-5; Liu and Sai bt Seo Myeong Eun and Choi Moon Young (Kor) 11-5, 11-5, 11-3.

Mixed doubles (final): Ma Long and Cai Sai (Chn) bt Zhang Jike and Ding Ning (Chn) 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6. Semifinals: Long and Sai bt Tang Yushi and Hou Xiaoxu (Chn) 11-8, 11-2, 11-8; Zhang and Ning bt Wu Chih-Chi and Lee I-Chen (Tpe) 11-6, 7-11, 11-1, 8-11, 11-4.

Medals Tally (read as gold-silver-bronze): China 7-4-3; India 1-0-2; Japan 1-0-2; Korea 0-5-3; Chinese Taipei 0-0-6; Sri Lanka 0-0-1; Hong Kong 0-0-1.

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