South Korea gets gold, silver in badminton doubles

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Kim Dong-moon and Ha Tae-kwon of South Korea won the Olympic badminton gold today in the men's doubles.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Kim Dong-moon and Ha Tae-kwon of South Korea won the Olympic badminton gold today in the men's doubles, beating compatriots Lee Dong-soo and Yoo Yong-sung in the final. Third-seeded Kim and Ha were too athletic and powerful for Lee and Yoo in the many lengthy rallies, winning 15-11, 15-4 at the Goudi Olympic Hall. Indonesia's Eng Hian and Flandy Limpele won the bronze medal. Ha and Kim had a difficult first game, trailing 4-1 before recovering to 9-8. They then pulled away to a 14-8 lead but Lee and Yoo fought back to 14-11. Ha wasted one game point by netting the shuttlecock and losing service, but slammed an overhead winner to clinch the game. Lee and Yoo struggled to overcome Ha and Kim's dominance in the second game. Ha and Kim took a 4-0 lead and never looked in danger of losing. After Kim scored the winning point, he dropped his racket and embraced Ha, with both falling to their knees in celebration. Earlier, Hian and Limpele won Indonesia's first badminton medal at these games with a 15-13, 15-7 defeat of Danes Jens Eriksen and Marti Lundgaard Hansen. "I am really satisfied with myself considering it was a very difficult game," Hian said. "I believe that our appearance as a national team was excellent and we deserved the bronze medal. Finally, I want to thank all our supporters who encouraged us during all the competition." Indonesia won gold in men's doubles badminton four years ago in Sydney. Its only chance of gold in Athens is the men's singles, with Taufik Hidayat playing South Korea's Shon Seung-mo in tomorrow's final. Hidayat beat Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana 15-9, 15-2 in today's semifinal, with Shon preventing an all-Indonesian final by downing Soni Dwi Kuncoro 15-6, 9-15, 15-9 in the other. "I believe that I can win the gold medal," Hidayat said. "I want so much to win and I feel quite ready." "I can't believe I'm the first Korean who is taking part in a men's singles final," Shon said. "I feel thisCmoment is historical for me and my people." The women's doubles semifinals were also played today, with China already guaranteed gold and silver. China's top-seeded pair of Zhang Jiewin and Yang Wei defeated South Korea's Ra Kyung-min and Lee Kyung-won 15-6, 15-4 in the first semi. They will play second-seeded Huang Sui and Gao Ling, who beat Zhao Tingting and Wei Yili 15-10, 17-14 in the other semifinal. "It doesn't matter who wins the gold medal," Zhang said. "What matters is that the gold medal goes to China." (AP)