Badminton world championships: Hong Kong mixed doubles pair Tang and Tse crash out and turn attention to Asian Games
China prove too strong but semi-final finish raises hopes of a medal in Indonesia later this month
Hong Kong’s mixed doubles pair of Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet were given a lesson by their China opponents as they crashed out of the badminton world championships at the semi-final stage on Saturday.
After a strong run to the last four, the third seeds lost 21-6, 21-10 in 30 minutes to second-seeded Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping in Nanjing.
Coach Tim He Yiming said the mainlanders were simply too powerful for the Hong Kong pair, who turn their attention to winning a medal at this month’s Asian Games in Indonesia.
“They were too fast for us and we could not match them,” said Tim. “We need to improve and I hope they can make amends for this when they play at the Asian Games.”
Hong Kong had reached the semi-finals with a three-game victory over Malaysia’s Chang Peng-soon and Goh Liu Ying, the silver medallists from the Rio Olympics.
The fact that they reached the last four of the world championships raises hopes of a medal at the Asian Games but, while they are still favourites for a podium place, they need a major effort to claim gold.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Kento Momota, who last year completed a lengthy ban for illegal gambling, is within touching distance of redemption after surging into the final of the badminton World Championships on Saturday.
He will play China’s Shi Yuqi in today’s Nanjing showpiece, which promises to be a thrilling showdown between two of badminton’s rising stars.
The 23-year-old Momota’s highly promising career hit a major roadblock in 2016 when Japanese badminton chiefs suspended him for more than a year for visiting an illicit casino, denying him a place at the Rio Olympics. Momota has been working his way back to the top of badminton ever since and the world-ranked seven is currently in the form of his life.
The brilliantly agile Shi taught Olympic champion Chen Long, 29, something of a lesson with a comprehensive 21-11, 21-17 victory.
Shi has a long way to go to emulate his more seasoned compatriots, but defeating Chen for just the second time was more evidence of a changing of the guard in Chinese men’s badminton.
He beat the 34-year-old Lin to win the prestigious All England Open in March, but the world title would be the biggest achievement of his fast-rising career.