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Badminton: World champ Wang avenges Olympic loss to Li

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

World champion Wang Yihan exacted revenge for her heart-breaking Olympic final loss to Li Xuerui Sunday when she thumped her Chinese team-mate in the Singapore Open final to topple her from the top of the rankings.

The fourth-seeded Wang took just 39 minutes to overpower Li 21-18, 21-12, hitting 17 smash winners as she claimed her first Singapore Open title and returned to world number one.

Wang, who also beat Li in straight sets at the Badminton Asia Championships final in April, now appears to have reasserted her dominance just in time to defend her world title in Guangzhou in early August.

There was also drama in the men's competition when unseeded Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto fought back from a set down to stun defending champion Boonsak Ponsana and claim his first ever Superseries title.

The 25-year-old dropped the opening set 20-22 but he overpowered the Thai veteran 21-5 in the second set before breaking open a tightly-fought deciding set by taking seven of a possible nine points to put himself on the brink at 20-14.

Sugiarto blew three match points as nerves set in but he finally claimed the set and match 21-17 when Boonsak, a two-time winner of the Singapore event, went long with his return on the fourth match point.

Sugiarto upset three seeds to claim the victory, one of three by Indonesian players just a week after former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat's emotional retirement in Jakarta.

Olympic women's doubles champions Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei claimed their second Singapore Open title in three years as the fifth-seeded Chinese pair beat Japanese second seeds Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi 21-19, 21-16.

It was a similar story in the mixed doubles as third seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia also won at the Singapore Open for the second time since 2011 with a 21-12, 21-12 victory over Korea's Yoo Yeong-Seong and Eom Hye-Won.

Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan completed a good outing for Indonesia as the unseeded pair beat Korean top seeds Ko Sung-Hyun and Lee Yong-Dae 21-15, 21-18 in the men's doubles final.

The 2014 Singapore Open will be held earlier in the year in a bid to attract a stronger field, after a swathe of big names opted out to save themselves for the upcoming world championships.

The event had a similar problem last year when it was held in the run-up to the Olympics. The current edition also coincided with choking haze from forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia which caused record pollution this week.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130623/badminton-world-champ-wang-avenges-olympic-loss-li