WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: LIU YONG AND GE FEI TAKE MIXED TITLE
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May 31, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Chinese players Liu Yong and Ge Fei captured
the mixed doubles gold medal this afternoon at the badminton world
championships being contested at Glasgow, Scotland. The Chinese pair, unbeaten
in individual competition since they started playing together early this year,
defeated Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen of Denmark in the championship
After Eriksen had opened the scoring for Denmark with a crosscourt drop, the
Chinese pair tallied five points mainly on Ge's serves and shots to lead in
the first game. The Danes countered with several markers on Eriksen's power
strokes but could not make up the early difference.
Liu and Ge upped their advantage with Liu using drops and smashes to score
or to set up Ge Fei for killshots. Ge also took her turn at the back and
also set up Liu for scoring chances in the midcourt or at the net.
Ahead at 11-5, Liu again set up Ge for a crosscourt killshot to gain their
twelfth point. Then, the Chinese attack pressured Eriksen into a wide lift in
the next rally.
After Eriksen had wiped out Liu's service turn, a short serve by Ge Fei
resulted in a Thomsen return out-of-bounds. In the next rally, Eriksen's try
at a tricky crosscourt netshot into an open spot failed and gave the Chinese
the first game at 15-5.
In the second game, the Chinese raced to a 4-0 lead before the Danes struck
back for three. The Chinese pulled away to a 10-3 advantage, pressuring
Eriksen and Thomsen into errors.
Eriksen's kill-kill-kill combination started a Danish comeback attempt, but
an Eriksen serve into net and a Ge smash between the two Danes halted the
Danish string at 6.
The Chinese then pressured and attacked to gain the important thirteenth
point. At this point, excellent play by the Danes and errors by the Chinese
pair enabled Eriksen and Thomsen to get close. With their supporters cheering
and pounding the drums, the Danes came back and finally tied up the game at
14-all on a Ge Fei shot that went wide.
The Chinese chose to go with a three-point setting. Liu mishit a driveshot
to give the Danes the lead in the tiebreak 1-0. Liu made amends on the next
rally, angling a smash at Eriksen to take away the first serve.
The Danes lost their second serve when Liu's netshot return pressured Thomsen
into a push shot that went wide. Eriksen handed the Chinese a point when he
tried for a touch sevice return and hit the shuttle into the net.
A succession of Liu drives forced Eriksen into netting a reply, giving the
Chinese a match point. The Danes regained the serve after first pressuring Ge
into a shot that went long and then, on the next rally, deceiving Ge with a
fake push shot that turned into a net shot.
The Danes again pulled even as a Chinese attack ended with an errant angled
smash from Liu. On the next exchange, the Danes got the attack and Eriksen
scored the game winner with a followup killshot in Liu's direction.
The Danish supporters in the stands went wild with their cheers and drums.
In the third game, the Chinese would not be denied. They raced to a 5-0 lead
and kept the pressure on the now-erratic Eriksen. The Chinese reached match
point on attacking play that ended when Liu jump-killed a loose Danish block
and hit Thomsen in the leg.
The Danes stopped the Chinese momentarily. Eriksen's drive down the middle
took away the Chinese serve, and then Thomsen scored the fourth point for the
Danes with a brushing killshot.
Two Danish miscues ended their turn at service.
The Chinese did not waste their chance at match point this time. Ge's short
serve started a driveshot exchange. The Danes hit a reply that popped up and
Ge pounded the shuttle with a crosscourt smash in Thomsen's direction for the
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