Fang, Lee say goodbye to Olympics
By Ann Yu, The China PostThe China Post--The Chinese Taipei men's doubles badminton team of Fang Chieh-min (方介民) and Lee Sheng-mu (李勝木) fell to Denmark's Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe on Thursday, going down 21-16, 21-18 in the quarterfinals. The loss marks the end of their journey at the 2012 London Olympics.
August 3, 2012, 12:31 am TWN
The two teams engaged in grueling attacks and counterattacks, but Denmark gained the upper hand, pinning the Taiwanese players in the backcourt and forcing them to respond defensively with long, forehand strokes from the back line. It was hard for the Taiwanese shuttlers to find any weak spots in the Denmark team's game, as the winners constructed a formidable defense by exploiting their longer limbs and height advantage.
Nevertheless, Fang and Lee refused to back down, taking every opportunity they came by to attack and eventually closed the Danes' first-set lead to 3 points.
The second set opened with equally aggressive exchanges, with each pair taking, losing and retaking the lead. Taiwan fought back fiercely, drawing even at a nerve-racking 18-18. Unfortunately for local fans Taiwan went down after some errors and Denmark bagged the win after a hard-fought game.
Women's Doubles End Despite Scandal
The golden duo Cheng Wen-hsing (程文欣) and Chien Yu-chin (簡毓瑾) could not deliver in the quarterfinals and lost to China's second-seeded pair of Tian Qing (田卿) and Zhao Yunlei (趙芸蕾) in the badminton women's doubles on Thursday. The match ended 10-21, 14-21.
Following intense media speculation after the disqualification of top-seeded teams from South Korea and China, Cheng and Chien struggled to maintain the cool they needed to win the match. The disqualifications did not have an impact on any pairs from Groups B and D, leaving Taiwan to face their originally scheduled opponents: fierce rivals China.
South Korea, another Chinese team and Indonesia were disqualified by the Olympics committee after playing intentionally poorly in attempts to avoid facing top-seeded pairs. As a result, lower seeds from the same group were to take their places, while other groups remained the same.
Frustrated, Chien said, “It would be lying to say we weren't distracted. There were rumors everywhere, and we weren't even sure if we would be playing that day.”
It was a hard-fought game, considering what the teams had just gone through. The Taiwanese team started off strong, leading the set 3-0 as China seemed a little rattled by the scandal. Nevertheless, second-seeded Chinese team quickly regained composure and struck back to tie the game before taking the lead.
Signs of energy returned for the golden duo after an interval in the second set with scores 11-7, as the players fought back with five consecutive points. Their comeback reached its height with a swift shot to midcourt while China opened the gaps, tying the game 12-12. But China never lost their lead, taking the game to match point at 20-14 and then sealing the match three shots later.