China get three titles; Japan's Akane wins women's singles

AGENCIES FUZHOU, 19th Nov: Chinese shuttlers claimed three titles - men's singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles - in the finals of World Superseries Premier Tahoe China Open here on Sunday.

The Rio Olympic champion, sixth seed Chen Long upset the world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, 21-16, 14-21, 21- 13, winning back the men's singles title after the previous two years' final losses.

It's been more than two years since Chen won the last Superseries title in 2015 Denmark Open. Sunday's victory also means his fourth China Open title. "I played lots of games after Olympics with unstable performance. I keep asking myself how much I long for the champion and what it means to me," said the 28-year-old shuttler who is regarded as the successor of Chinese superstar Lin Dan.

"It's a great challenge to find myself back after Rio. I hope I will always be thirsty for victories," added Chen. Chen has kept 10-2 headto-head record against Axelsen by now and he told Xinhua he was very much expecting the clash in-betweens would become a worldwide legend like encounters between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

In the women's singles, Chinese young shuttler Gao Fangjie, rising from qualifications as dark horse, did not continue the surprising performance in the final and lost to world No. 4 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-13, 21-15. The 19-year-old Gao, world No. 89, outplayed Rio Olympics champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the semis and Olympic silver medalist Pusarla V. Sindhu of India in the quarters.

Yamaguchi told Xinhua she did lots of preparation as she knew that Gao had shaken down many powerful opponents. Gao admitted that she need to improve her skills in controlling the shuttle and tempo.

The world number four pair in the women's doubles Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan of China sealed the victory against the eighth seed duo Kim Hye Rin/ Lee So Hee of South Korea, 21-7, 18-21, 21-14, to claim their first title of China Open.

The number five seed duo Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong of China claimed the mixed doubles title with an overwhelming victory against Mathias Christiansen/Christinna Pedersen of Denmark, 21-15, 21-11. Zheng and Huang, pairing for only two weeks, claimed their second BWF title since Macau Open. They told Xinhua they never expected the final to go so easy.

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