Favourites triumph

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The Independent Online
The finals of the doubles went with form yesterday with the Indonesian and Chinese teams seeing off opponents they have been beating all year.

Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China captured the women's gold as they beat South Korea's Gil Young-ah and Jang Hye-ock, 15-5, 15-5, with the two 20-year- olds winning in less than an hour. In the men's tournament, the Indonesian pair of Rexy Mainaky and Ricky Subagja rallied to beat Malaysia's Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock, 5-15, 15-13, 15-12.

Both doubles finals featured rivals who were quite familiar with each other. Over the past year the women's finalists have met seven times in finals, with Ge and Gu winning five, while the men's finalists have met eight times, with the Indonesians taking seven.

"We have played them many times and we know their strategy," said Ge.

The bronze medals were decided on Tuesday night, with Tang Yongshu and Qin Yiyuan of China taking the women's medal and S Antonius and Denny Kantono of Indonesia coming in third for the men.

The singles titles will be decided today, and there will be a new women's champion. Indonesia's Susi Susanti was the defending gold medalist and regarded as one of the most dominating players of all time.

South Korea's Bang Soo-hyun had other ideas, however, and spent hours watching videos of Susanti. Bang used the knowledge to beat the Indonesian 11-9, 11-8 and reach the final.

"I watched Susi and studied her techniques and there was always a little missing," said Bang, the 1992 silver medalist.

Bang will play for the gold against another Indonesian, 16-year-old Mia Audina.

Dong Jiong of China and Denmark's Paul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen will contest the men's final. Dong beat Rashid Sidek of Malaysia, while Hoyer-Larsen saw off Heryanto Arbi of Indonesia.