Denmark take gold medal

Denmark's Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen became the first European to win an Olympic gold medal in badminton yesterday when he beat the world No 1, Dong Jiong of China, in the men's singles final.

Hoyer-Larsen, this year's European and all-England champion, won in straight games as the Olympic final brought together the world's top two players.

Hoyer-Larsen, 30, took the first game 15-12 in 17 minutes and then raced to a 5-0 lead in the second. Dong then staged a fight-back, recovering from 12-7 down to reach 12-10 but his concentration appeared to be broken when, with the Dane serving, he was foot-faulted. The Dane then won his next three service points to take the game 15-10 and the title.

"I did exactly the same thing I had been doing during the whole game. I don't think the call was correct," Dong said.

Hoyer-Larsen, supported during the game by fans who sang Danish football chants, appeared at the post-match press conference with gold written across his forehead.