Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin set a milestone as they became the first from Chinese Taipei in the semifinals of the Olympics.
The Chinese Taipei duo outplayed All England champions Yuta Watanabe/Hiroyuki Endo 21-16 21-19 in the quarterfinals, thereby shutting out Japan’s hopes in men’s doubles after Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda had fallen to world champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan.
“It feels amazing, it’s really unbelievable,” said Wang Chi-Lin. “We’d lost our first match to the Indians (Rankireddy/Shetty). We thought we had no chance, but we were able to come back stronger.”
True to character, the Chinese Taipei duo banked on their big hitting to keep the pressure on the Japanese. Watanabe and Endo found their touch in the second and some engaging rallies followed, but with Wang converting most of his smash opportunities, it was always a fight with their backs to the wall.
“We told ourselves to enjoy the game, play our speed and power,” said Wang. “Just focus on every point. We’d lost to them once. We just tried to cut down on our mistakes. We knew it would be a tough match. So we just kept smashing and smashing and smashing!
“I just used all my power. I don’t have anything else… I kept smashing and he (Lee Yang) would push and give me the chance to smash.”
Lee and Wang had beaten Ahsan and Setiawan in the title round of the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in January, but Wang said that was history.
“We beat them in Thailand but that’s in the past. Tomorrow’s a new day. So we want to do much better, and we will watch their match and learn.”
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