Lin Dan tramples Lee, India dominate track | Pakistan Today

Lin Dan tramples Lee, India dominate track

GUANGZHOU: Pumped-up Chinese superstar Lin Dan outplayed world number one Lee Chong Wei to win the Asian Games badminton title Sunday as India dominated the track with two gold medals.
The popular Lin, who had won world and Olympic titles but never an Asian Games crown, was in top form in front of a vociferous home crowd to beat his Malaysian arch-rival 21-13, 15-21, 21-10.
His reaction on winning, ripping off his shirt and repeatedly punching the air shouting ‘yes, yes’, told the story of how much it meant to a man seen by many as the best shuttler ever.
“This Asian Games could be my last so I’m very happy that at last I realised my dream and the expectations of my fans,” said Lin. It was also a night to remember for Indian athletes who won gold in the women’s 10,000m and 3,000m steeplechase.
Preeja Sreedharan led an Indian 1-2 in the 10,000m, clinching the title with a stunning burst of pace into the home straight ahead of teammate Kavita Raut with Bahrain’s Ethiopian-born Shitaya Habtegebrel third. On a night of upsets, Sudha Singh then held off a desperate late lunge by China’s Jin Yuan to win the steeplechase by a head with Japan’s Minori Hayakari taking bronze.
Day 9 of the biggest multi-sports event after the Olympics also saw women’s rugby and boxing take place for the first time. The hosts boosted their already inflated gold medal tally to 146 with South Korea on 55 and Japan on 30.
Sreedharan, who won in 31min 50.28sec, said she stuck to her race plan, which ultimately paid dividends.
“My coach said if I ran my own pace I would definitely get gold. I ran my own style and my own pace and I won. I didn’t think about the other competitors,” she said.
At a packed Aota Main Stadium, Bahrain’s Kenyan-born Ali Hasan Mahboob, previously known as Silas Kirui, claimed the men’s 5,000m title in a slow 13min 47.84sec.
Two other Kenyan-born athletes completed the podium: Qatar’s defending champion James Kwalia with silver and teammate Felix Kibore with bronze.
Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov took the men’s hammer while China’s Li Long was the women’s shot put champion.
Meanwhile, all the leading sprinters comfortably cruised into the men’s 100m semi-finals, including defending champion Yahya Habeeb of Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s Asian record holder Samuel Francis.
After a women’s tournament won by Pakistan, men’s cricket made its Asian Games debut with China performing on the international stage for the first time.
But it was not the start they wanted as Malaysia crushed them by 89 runs with a blistering display of power hitting. China’s coach, former Pakistan international Rashid Khan, believes his team will be a powerful force within five years. In the absence of India, who controversially refused to send a team to Guangzhou, the established Asian trio of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are braced for an emotion-fuelled gold medal assault with Afghanistan.
Rugby also got underway with China making a confident start by thrashing South Korea 51-0 in the first women’s match ever to feature at an Asian Games.
Women’s boxing was also held for the first time as the sport attempts to snare a wider audience, with fighters from China, North Korea, and Philippines all getting wins.
Elsewhere, dominant five-time World Open champion Nicol David clinched a third Asian Games squash title with compatriot Mohamad Azlan Iskander completing a Malaysian double with the men’s gold.

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