The reigning men’s and women’s singles champions, China’s Chen Long and Spain’s Carolina Marin, remain on course to defend their titles after coming through their semi-finals at the Badminton World Championships in Jakarta.
Chen comfortably beat Japan’s Kento Momota 21-9, 21-15, while Marin overturned a significant third-game deficit to emerge victorious against South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun.
Sung appeared to be heading for a surprising win at 13-8, but Marin dug deep to rattle off 10 points in a row on her way to securing a 21-17, 15-21, 21-16 success.
"Today I was nervous and angry with myself, as I was constantly thinking of the score," said Marin.
"When I was down 8-13 in the third game, I just thought I had to fight hard and do my best.
"It was a tight match; I’m happy I could fight until the end."
Chen now goes on to face Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who beat Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen as he bids to bring an end to his career-long search for a world title.
Lee set a scorching pace which Jorgensen found hard to match and despite holding a 14-12 lead in the second game, the Dane fell to a 21-7, 21-19 defeat.
India’s Saina Nehwal provides Marin’s opposition in the final after she became her country’s first-ever World Championships finalist by overcoming home favourite Lindaweni Fanetri, 21-17, 21-17.
Fanetri showed great fighting spirit to push Nehwal all the way having received medical attention for a troublesome knee.
Like Chen and Marin, China’s mixed doubles pairing Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei are also poised to retain their crown after coming from behind to beat Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir 20-22, 23-21, 21-12, much to the disappointment of the home crowd.
Having won the first game, Ahmad and Natsir found themselves with two match points at 20-18 in the second.
But with Zhang and Zhao at his mercy, Ahmad fired into the net at 20-19 before a spectacular meltdown ensued.
The third game was a non-contest as Zhang and Zhao sealed victory against their tired-looking opponents.
Zhang and Zhao must now overcome the challenge of compatriots Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin, who beat another Chinese duo Xu Chen and Ma Jin, 21-13, 15-21, 21-19.
Meanwhile in the women’s doubles, Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl had little trouble seeing off the challenge of Japan’s Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao, winning 21-12, 21-15.
Standing between the Danes and the gold medal is China’s Zhao and Tian Qing, who claimed a one-sided win against Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari.
The reigning Olympic and world champions were far too strong for their opponents as they cruised to a 21-8, 21-16 success.
As for the men’s doubles, Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan beat South Korea’s Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong 21-17, 21-19 to set up a clash with China’s Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan; 21-16, 21-23, 22-20 victors against Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa.
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