Home stars take three badminton titles at China Open in Shanghai
Chen Long, Li Xuerui with women's pair Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang swept to victory in their all-Chinese finals
Agence France-Presse in Shanghai
China's top singles players Chen Long and Li Xuerui swept to victory on Sunday for a second year at the Victor China Open badminton championships, with women's pair Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang winning their third straight title.
Second-seeded men's singles player Chen overcame a tough challenge from Wang Zhengming 19-21, 21-8, 21-14 to win his third China Open in four years. It is his third Super Series victory of the year. "The next goal is to have a good performance at the world championships," Chen said.
Wang is one of China's emerging top prospects and opened strongly before succumbing to Chen. The two are good friends and Wang credits Chen for his improvement.
"Chen had better control and gave me a lot of pressure," Wang said. "He is very good and helps me a lot with training and daily life. Without his help, I wouldn't have improved so fast."
World's number one women's singles player Li also claimed a second straight China Open title, winning five of the last six points to defeat compatriot Wang Shixian 16-21, 21-17, 21-19.
Li overcame a 12-6 deficit in the third set to claim the title.
"During the past month I haven't trained very well. For the China Open, I basically played with my teammates and Wang played quite well especially after winning the French Open, so I just wanted to catch up with her," Li said.
The tournament marks a return to title form for Li, who had disappointing finishes in the China Masters and French Open before succumbing to injury.
"It's three years until the next Olympics and there will be many younger players coming to increase the challenge," the 22-year old said. "It is my duty to protect myself by reducing the risk of injury and training harder."