SEOUL: Five-times world champion Lin Dan earned a hard-fought title in the men's singles at the Badminton Asia Championships in South Korea on Sunday. The Chinese great outlasted Sho Sasaki of Japan 14-21, 21-9, 21-15 in the seesaw final that took 66 minutes in Gimcheon, 230 kilometers (144 miles) southeast of Seoul. It was Lin's third Asian title and his second win of 2014 in as many appearances. He won the China Masters earlier this month in his season debut that ended an extended layoff.
Lin, a former world number one, saw his world ranking fall outside the top 100 before bouncing back to 83rd following the win on home soil. Lin had not dropped a set en route to the final in South Korea before Sasaki, world number 23, pushed him early. But the Japanese ended up losing for the 10th time in 11 meetings against the Chinese. The Asia Championships were missing the world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who withdrew at the last moment. Lin's compatriots also reached the top of the podium in the women's doubles, as the unseeded Luo Ying and Lou Yu defeated the second-seeded duo from South Korea, Kim Ha-Na and Jung Kyung-Eun, 21-18, 21-18.
The host nation also picked up two titles on Sunday. In the women's singles, Sung Ji-Hyun toppled the number one seed Wang Shixian of China, 21-19, 21-15. In the men's doubles, Shin Baek-Cheol and Yoo Yeon-Seong edged out Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen of China 22-20, 21-17. Shin came up short in the mixed doubles final. Lee Chun Hei and Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong prevailed over Shin and Jang Ye-Na, 13-21, 21-15, 21-15.
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