Source: Xinhua

08-16-2008 07:19

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- "Olympic gold? It is a must," Chinese badminton women duo of Du Jing and Yu Yang said whenever asked for their target for the Beijing Olympic Games. They realized the must thing here on Friday.

Yu Yang/Du Jing of China celebrate the victory over Lee Kyungwon/Lee Hyojung of South Korea during women's doubles gold medal match of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games badminton event in Beijing, China, Aug. 15, 2008. Yu Yang/Du Jing beat Lee Kyungwon/Lee Hyojung 2-0 and claimed the gold. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)
Yu Yang/Du Jing of China celebrate the victory over Lee Kyungwon/Lee 
Hyojung of South Korea during women's doubles gold medal match of 
the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games badminton event in Beijing, China, 
Aug. 15, 2008. Yu Yang/Du Jing beat Lee Kyungwon/Lee Hyojung 2-0 
and claimed the gold. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)

"The gold is not the end but a start for our career," said Du ata press conference after their Olympic final victory.

The two are both boyish and it is always hard for people to distinguish them from each other on the court. They love to yell during competitions and are open to media. All these made them special in the powerful but modest Chinese badminton team.

They hate to wear skirts during matches, except only once in 2006 when skirt was the only choice provided by sponsors. Teammates, who never saw them in skirts, were surprised and took photos and made fun of them.

But, they are now the new doubles queens of the world, as No. 1 Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen, the Athens Olympic champions, planned to retire after an early defeat in the Beijing Games. Wei Yili of the world's No. 2 couple also planned to retire after the Olympics.

Du and Yu, 24 and 22 respectively, are expected to set the trend of women's doubles in the next couple of years.

Du and Yu are complementary on court, as Du is known for her powerful smashes from the back court and Yu is vibrant on the net with an outstanding speed. Their combination of power and speed are favorite for the current 21-score system.

"We target the gold at the Beijing Olympics. We want to be Ge Fei and Gu Jun," the duo said before the Beijing Games. The legendary Ge and Gu swept away nearly all the titles of major international events, including two golds in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.

Du and Yu's adventure to the Beijing Olympic Games were mixed with tears and joy. They were absent from some international events because of injury last year.

Their hope for the Olympic Games were almost broken when Du was diagnosed to have a cyst in the diagnose last August, just a few days before the World Championships. The absence from the World Championships meant that they have to be at least quarterfinalists in all of the following six to seven international events.

Du went off the bed on the second day of the surgery and took some walks for exercise. Within a month she returned to the court.

Miracles happened after the all-out efforts from the duo, enabling them to catch the last bus of the Beijing Olympic Games, and now, the glaring gold medal.


Editor:Sun Tingting