China picks young gun over Wang in badminton team
China has omitted Asian Games singles champion Wang Shixian from their Olympic badminton team and picked 21-year-old talent Li Xuerui as the third and final entrant in the women's singles at the London Games.india Updated: Jul 10, 2012 13:44 IST
China has omitted Asian Games singles champion Wang Shixian from their Olympic badminton team and picked 21-year-old talent Li Xuerui as the third and final entrant in the women's singles at the London Games.
The battle for the final spot between former world number one Wang and Li sparked heated media speculation in China in recent weeks, with the first two slots already sewn up by world champion and number one Wang Yihan and number two Wang Xin.
The three Wangs share the same surname but are not related.
Wang Shixian, once tipped to dominate Chinese badminton after winning gold on home soil at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, was surpassed by her team mates over the past year and a half amid fitness concerns.
Li has been in outstanding form this season, however, upsetting her top-ranked compatriot Wang Yihan to win the prestigious All England title in Birmingham in March before riding a 30-match winning streak that was broken only last month.
There were no other surprises in the team named today and posted in a Xinhua news agency report on the General Administration of Sport's website.
World number one and reigning Olympic champion Lin Dan will lead the men's singles, supported by world number three Chen Long and fourth-ranked Chen Jin.
Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng, who took silver at the Beijing Games, will lead the men's doubles in their attempt to go one better at the Wembley Arena.
Women's doubles Olympic champion Yu Yang will reprise her world title-winning partnership with Wang Xiaoli.
China successfully defended all five of their world titles at the Wembley Arena last year and though their long-serving head coach Li Yongbo has set a modest baseline target of two golds, are primed to sweep the July 28 - Aug 5 tournament at London.
Men's singles: Lin Dan, Chen Long, Chen Jin
Women's singles: Wang Yihan, Wang Xin, Li Xuerui
Men's doubles: Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng; Guo Zhendong/Chai Biao
Women's doubles: Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang; Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei
Mixed doubles: Xu Chen (m)/Ma Jin (w); Zhang Nan (m)/Zhao Yunlei (w)
First Published: Jul 10, 2012 13:38 IST