Badminton: Xia survives Wong's fightback as China claim three titles

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China claimed three of the five titles at the World Championships here, including the men's singles when Xia Xuanze added the world crown to his 2000 All England title - which he also won in the National Indoor Arena - by beating Wong Choong Hann, of Malaysia, 15-6, 13-15, 15-6 in a contest which lasted 86 minutes.

"I'm so excited, I am lost for words," Xia said. In a thrilling match, he had seemed to be in charge when he led 12-9 in the second set, but Wong fought back bravely to level at 13-13 and then tie the match at 1-1.

The deciding set was eagerly contested until it reached 6-6, but Xia slowly gained control to clinch the title on his second match point.

The second seed, Zhang Ning, beat defending champion Gong Ruina 11-6, 11-3 in an all-Chinese women's singles final which lasted just 44 minutes.

Gong, the fourth seed, led 4-0 in the first game, but once Zhang found her stride she was mostly in control, rounding off a fine week in which her other scalps have included the 1999 world champion Camilla Martin, of Denmark.

"This was my first time in the final and I had done a lot of preparation that helped me feel very confident before the match," said Zhang, at 28 a comparative veteran competing in her sixth world championships. "I have had to work very hard. As you get older, it's more difficult to play all of the time because of injuries."

In the women's doubles, third seeds Gao Ling and Huang Sui retained their crown in another all-Chinese final, securing a 15-8, 15-11 win over Wei Yili and Zhao Tingting.

China could have had a fourth title in the mixed doubles, but the defending champions and top seeds, Zhang Jun and Gao Ling lost 15-7, 15-8 to South Korea's Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min, whom they beat in Seville two years ago.

The Badminton Association of England, staging the championships for the second time in 10 years, hailed the tournament as a success. Its chief executive, Stephen Baddeley, said: "We want more big events. We would like to stage the Thomas and Uber Cup finals."

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