Seventh-seeded Ratchanok Intanon made it a memorable day at the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan by stunning the top-seeded Li Xuerui in front of her home crowd in the women’s singles final. The 20-year-old had beaten Li Xuerui in 2013 to become the youngest ever singles World Champion.
Two years later, she repeated the feat for an incredible 20-22, 23-21, 21-12 victory that saw her coming back from match point down.
Ratchanok Intanon saves match point
Li who had won the Continental Championships twice before, looked poised for her third title as she held a match point at 20-19 in the second game. But the resilient Thai came roaring back to win the final in three games.
This is the first title for Ratchanok Intanon since becoming the World Champion.
Lin Dan defends Asian crown
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan successfully defended his Asian crown by defeating China’s Tian Houwei 21-19, 21-8. This was the fourth title at the Continental Championships for the Chinese superstar.
In men’s doubles, top-seeded Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea won the title by edging past sixth-seeded Indonesians Ahsan Mohammad/Setiawan Hendra 18-21, 24-22, 21-19.
The women’s doubles final witnessed an upset. The unseeded Chinese duo of Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting shocked the fourth seeds Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang 21-12, 21-12.
Indonesian second seeds Ahmad Tontowi/Natsir Liliyana clinched the mixed doubles title. They beat the Hong Kong pair of Lee Chun Hei Reginald/Chau Hoi Wah 21-16, 21-15.
Saina, Sindhu reached the quarters
It was a rather disappointing performance from the Indian shuttlers as none of them managed to reach the semi-finals. World No. 1 Saina Nehwal’s campaign ended in the quarters at the hands of Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying. This was the Indian’s third straight defeat to the young Taipei player.
PV Sindhu who made a comeback after a stress fracture, also reached the quarter-finals. She gave a good account of herself in the match but was edged by the top-seeded Li Xuerui in the end.
Parupalli Kashyap was the only Indian in the men’s singles in the absence of Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy both of whom pulled out due to injuries. Kashyap crashed out in the third round to seventh-seeded Wang Zhengming.
The men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy made it to the third round.