Photo credit: Tang Shi
With the world ranking no. 1, Indonesians Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, not being present in Nanjing, the Chinese spectators could not ask for more in the mixed double final. World no. 2 against no. 3, the no. 1 seeded against no. 2 – and both pairs being from China.
Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong had won all four previous encounters against compatriots Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping before today’s final at the World Championships. Only one time they needed three games to win – that was at the All England quarterfinals this year. With statistics on their side they were favorites to steal the gold in front of Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping.
Zheng Siwei was also in the final last year where he got silver together with Chen Qingchen but for Huang Yaqiong, Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping it was to be the first ever World Championship medal, not counting their junior medals in 2012 and 2013.
Louder crowd and better atmosphere
With a much louder crowd in the tribunes it was also the favorites who controlled most of first game. From 5-5 Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong slowly but steadily brought themselves one step closer to the gold medals as they won the first game 21-17. Statistics never lie; it seemed that history continued like it was used to and the world no. 2 were still superior to their compatriots.
Very close finish
Second game was a bit similar to first with a close beginning and then Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong slowly running away from Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping. They were at 12-7 and it smelled like gold but Wang and Huang brought excitement back into the match when they nearly caught up at 15-14 and equalized at 17-17 and again at 19-19.
Then followed an amazing rally where Zheng Siwei smashed on absolutely everything. He didn’t want three games, that was obvious, and he could now serve for gold at his and Huang Yaqiong’s first match point. When Wang Yilyu shot out the shuttle, the Chinese winners threw themselves on the floor in joy. 21-19 in second game.
Congratulations to the new World Champions; Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong from China!
Mixed double medals:
Gold: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, China
Silver: Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping, China
Bronze: Zhang Nan/Li Yinhui, China
Bronze: Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet, Hong Kong
You can see the results of all the semifinals here