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Thread: Zhang Ning has done it!
08-16-2008, 04:38 AM #1
Zhang Ning has done it!
Zhang Ning has done it. She bows out a legend. After a disappointing season in the Super Series, she has retained her Olympic title.
Surely, she is the epitome of a perfect female shuttler in the eyes of many in China and even abroad.
08-16-2008, 04:49 AM #2
Tears of joy for Zhang
Agence France-Presse in Beijing
Updated on Aug 16, 2008 An emotional Zhang Ning stole Chinese hearts on Saturday with a thrilling win over world No 1 Xie Xingfeng in the women's badminton final as the host nation's gold medal juggernaut kept rolling. The veteran ended her career with a 21-12, 10-21, 21-18 victory and fell to floor in tears, holding her hands in her face as the crowd went wild.
She was the oldest woman ever to win the title and now retires having won successive Olympic golds following her triumph in Athens.
Zhang, the veteran of the Chinese team, won a gripping match over hot gold medal favourite Xie in front of a packed chanting crowd and watched by millions throughout China.
The 33-year-old said she started to doubt 100 days before the Games that she could win a medal after swelling in one knee refused to go down.
Even after Athens, when she won gold at 29, Zhang, who has suffered ankle and knee injuries, thought she was too old for elite badminton, and had not even considered playing in Beijing.
"I am extremely excited. I have devoted myself to badminton so much in the past four years and I have always been fighting my injuries," said an overjoyed Zhang.
"This was the perfect ending to my badminton career.
"After the Athens Games I didn't think about participating in the Beijing Games, especially during the last two years," the second seed said.
"I wasn't doing very well, and I was kind of confused, I didn't know what to do, but then I persevered, I tried very hard, I did a lot of training so this gold didn't come very easy," she said.
"I did a lot and paid a lot for this gold.
"I'm 33-years-old, I believe it was tenacity that got me this gold medal."
The victory leaves China with two golds at this tournament after taking the women's doubles title on Friday, and keeps alive their ambitions of clinching all five, topping their tally of three in Athens.
Heartbreak for Xie
The loss was heartbreaking for 27-year-old Xie, competing at her first Olympics after being left out of the China team in Athens four years ago.
Supporters had been hoping for a golden double from Xie and her boyfriend, fellow world No 1 Lin Dan, who fights for gold against Malaysia's second seed Lee Chong Wei on Sunday in the men's singles final.
"Since I didn't get the gold medal I'm still a bit upset and I just hope that tomorrow Lin Dan will be able to beat Lee Chong Wei," the No 1 seed said, refusing to comment on her plans for the future.
Zhang took the first game at a canter with a mix of craft and aggression, but Xie came charging back in the second with precision shots as errors started to creep into the veteran's game.
In the decider, Zhang took a 3-0 lead and kept edging ahead, showing steely determination with her shots, that formed part of numerous lengthy rallies, and pumping her fist in the air with every winning point.
But Xie refused to throw in the towel, grinding down her teammate to level at 15-15. The exhausted pair matched point for point before Zhang pulled ahead 20-17. Xie saved one match point but not the second.
Underdog Maria Kristin Yulianti of Indonesia took bronze after she defeated China's third seed Lun Lan.
08-16-2008, 04:49 AM #3
08-16-2008, 04:50 AM #4
Given that ZN has to fight off tough formidable threats like pi hongyan, maria K.Y., she dealt them all. I dont think ZN had played Maria KY before so that makes it even harder in beating her in the SF. Giving the pressure and diversed group of foes, i doubt ZL can handle it IMO.
By ranking standing, ZL should have been chosen but LYB fixing's fixed that
So is this considered fixing since LYB"s action did clearly harmed china's opponents
Last edited by cooler; 08-16-2008 at 04:59 AM.
08-16-2008, 04:57 AM #5
many do question her capability at the olympic.
now, she prove it by defended her gold medal...........
08-16-2008, 06:14 AM #6
Hopes she retired after this GOLD.. The World of Badminton needs more cuties from CHN now rather than an AUNTIE
08-16-2008, 06:47 AM #7
truely a legend, first to win gold successively in a singles competition correct? she was in a tough draw to begin with, and she came through, victory after victory. i think this has been such an emotional and fairytale run for her, she deserves every bit of it. congrats and good luck in the future!
08-16-2008, 07:09 AM #8
I knew that Zhang Ning still had the ability to beat anyone if she's playing her best, but I wasn't sure what form she would bring or if she could last the whole tournament playing her best. I thought she would be out of the Olympics after watching her lose the first game in the first round to Ponsana. I had to leave after the first game so I was surprised later when I saw that she won the match. After each round, she upped her level until the final when she faced XXF. Very nicely done...she's definitely one of the all time greats with 2 consecutive Olympic golds.
08-16-2008, 07:38 AM #9
Just saw the last half of the third game on delayed TV, oh man that was amazing... Beautiful play! I had to hold back tears after seeing Zhang Ning's reaction upon winning . Fairytale stuff .
08-16-2008, 08:52 AM #10
08-16-2008, 09:06 AM #11
08-16-2008, 09:14 AM #12
Well I do support Zhang Ning than xxf..
I waiting whole day to watch live on TV.. but Rain has cancel all night long
08-16-2008, 09:55 AM #13
yess!!! she had made it!!!
and also spoiled the party of `golden couple`
but now its just 50%.
now its the time for chong wei to spoil the 100% of that party..
08-16-2008, 10:34 AM #14
Honestly, I'm a bit of a XXF/LD fan myself (though I am just starting to follow the pros). After seeing how emotional Zhang was when she won though, I'm really happy for her. It was a truly magnificent match.
08-16-2008, 10:37 AM #15
To win the Olympic gold at 33 years old is no small feat. Kudos for Zhang Ning.
MAS shuttlers should emulate this legend.
08-16-2008, 10:38 AM #16
08-16-2008, 10:42 AM #17
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