Taiwanese badminton doubles players enter Olympic semifinals for 1st time in history

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lee Yang (李洋) and Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟) ousted their Japanese opponents in straight sets on Thursday (July 29), making them the first Taiwanese men’s badminton duo to enter the semifinals in Olympic history,

During the badminton men’s doubles quarterfinals on Thursday, world No. 3 duo of Lee and Wang faced off with Japan’s No. 1 pair of Endo Hiroyuki and Watanabe Yuta. Lee and Wang soon emerged from the match victorious with a straight-sets win of 21-16 and 21-19.

Wang ducks as Lee sends shuttlecock sailing overhead. (CNA photo)

Thanks to their triumph, Lee and Wang will enter the semifinals at 5:15 p.m. on Friday (July 30), when they will face world No. 2 team Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia to decide who will battle for gold in the finals. Even with a loss, they could still have a shot at the bronze medal in men’s doubles, which in itself would be a first for Taiwan.

Lee and Wang had a tough road to the semifinals, having lost to India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 16-21, 21-16, and 25-16 in their first game in group play on Saturday (July 24). However, they redeemed themselves by easily cruising past British pair Ben Lane and Sean Vendy 21-17 and 21-14 on Monday (July 26) in 35 minutes.

Wang and Lee ready to hit return volley. (CNA photo)

Their most impressive win came on Tuesday (July 27) when they bested the No. 1 team in the world, Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 21-18, 15-21, and 21-17 in a seesaw battle that lasted 51 minutes.

After overcoming so much adversity, when Lee and Wang clinched their bid to the finals on Thursday, they instantly buckled to the ground on their knees out of relief and joy. When asked to respond to their win, both responded in unison that “it was hard to believe,” and Wang stated that the process of coming all the way back from the first loss “was like climbing back from hell,” reported UDN.

Wang and Lee rush to return shuttlecock. (CNA photo)

Lee and Wang celebrating winning a point. (Sports Administration Ministry of Education (photo))

Wang and Lee rejoice in victory. (CNA photo)

Video shows moment Wang and Lee win the game:

Taiwan’s Chou survives nailbiter to enter badminton quarterfinals

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Taiwan gets 1st win in badminton men’s doubles at Olympics

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