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Zheng Jie saves face for Chinese tennis
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-12-14 11:34
China's Zheng Jie silenced hundreds of noisy Indian fans by beating Sania Mirza in the Asian Games women's singles final on Wednesday, saving some face for an under-performing Chinese women's team.

Zheng Jie of China returns the ball back during the women's singles final of tennis match against Sania Mirza of India at Doha Asiad, Qatar, Dec. 13, 2006. Zheng won her Indian opponent 2-1.  (Xinhua Photo/Song Zhenping)

Zheng Jie of China returns the ball back during the women's singles final of tennis match against Sania Mirza of India at Doha Asiad, Qatar, Dec. 13, 2006. Zheng won her Indian opponent 2-1. (Xinhua Photo/Song Zhenping)

With just two days of competition left, China is set to beat its gold count of 150 set in the 2002 Asian Games, after piling up nine golds on Tuesday from boxing, cycling, tennis, diving, fencing and hockey to make it 147 in total.

    

Zheng Jie's gold came after the much-hyped Chinese women's tennis team suffered an early exit from the team event and lost its top singles and doubles seeds on Tuesday, enraging Chinese top tennis officials who called Asia's No. 1 Li Na and Olympic champions Li Ting/Sun Tiantian "irresponsible" and "unprofessional".

    

Zheng subdued Mirza 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 in a clash lasting almost two hours.

    

"It was very difficult," said Zheng. "Everyone was supporting Sania, I just told myself to hang on."

Gold medalist Zheng Jie of China attends the victory ceremony of the women's singles final of tennis match at Doha Asiad, Qatar, Dec. 13, 2006.  (Xinhua Photo/Liu Haifeng

Gold medalist Zheng Jie of China attends the victory ceremony of the women's singles final of tennis match at Doha Asiad, Qatar, Dec. 13, 2006. (Xinhua Photo/Liu Haifeng)

    

Zheng and her partner Yan Zi, doubles champions in Australian Open and Wimbledon Open this year, will fight for the doubles crown with a Chinese Taipei pair.

    

Five hours after the singles loss, Mirza teamed up with Indian veteran Leander Paes to win the mixed doubles, beating Japan's Satoshi Iwabuchi/Akiko Morigami 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.

    

The 20-year-old Mirza didn't show a sign of fatigue, nor did the 33-year-old Paes, who had only an hour break after combining with Mahesh Bhupathi in their 5-7, 9-2, 6-3 victory over Thai twins Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat in the men's doubles final.

    

Paes owed the back-to-back victories to the tough nerves and a supporting crowd.

    

DPR Korean women's soccer team also banked on their steely mentality and raucous fans to beat Japan 4-2 on penalties after the extra timed ended in 0-0.

    

Most of the DPR Korean delegation was on spectators' stands when Jong Myong Hui shut out two Japanese penalties and Ri Kum Suk,Ri Un Gyong, Ho Sun Hui and Jong Pok Sim all found the target.

    

In the bronze medal game, China routed South Korea 2-0 on Wang Kun's goals.

Members of the Chinese team pose for a photocall before the football women's bronze medal match against South Korea at Doha Asiad, Qatar, Dec. 13, 2006. China beat South Korea 2-0 to win the bronze medal.

Members of the Chinese team pose for a photocall before the football women's bronze medal match against South Korea at Doha Asiad, Qatar, Dec. 13, 2006. China beat South Korea 2-0 to win the bronze medal. (Xinhua Photo/Liao Yujie)

    

While the Chinese women's soccer team, former Olympic and World Cup runners-up, only showed a bit of their past glory in the Asian Games, the hard-working women's hockey squad were rewarded with a gold medal.

    

Ren Yi's diving deflection on a penalty corner in the 41st minute clinched China a 1-0 victory over Japan, which had beaten China 3-0 last week.

    

"The girls had trained very hard for the Asian Games, this gold medal is a reward for their effort," said China's South Korean head coach Kim Chang Back.

    

China also landed two rare golds in boxing as Zou Shiming outscored Suban Pannon of Thailand in the light flyweight to win the country's first Asian Games boxing title since 1990 and Hu Qing doubled up by beating Munkh Uranchimeg of Mongolia in the lightweight.

 China's Hu Qing (R) fights with Munkh Erdene Uranchimeg of Mongolia during the light 60kg final bout of boxing at Doha Asiad, Qatar, Dec. 13, 2006. Hu Qing won the gold medal of the event. (Xinhua Photo/Chen Xie)

China's Hu Qing (R) fights with Munkh Erdene Uranchimeg of Mongolia during the light 60kg final bout of boxing at Doha Asiad, Qatar, Dec. 13, 2006. Hu Qing won the gold medal of the event. (Xinhua Photo/Chen Xie)

    

The other four boxing golds went to the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

    

China clean-swept the day's diving and fencing titles.

    

Olympic champion Wu Minxia led teammate He Zi to a 1-2 finish in the women's 3m springboard and He Chong and Luo Yutong added a gold and a silver to China's collection.

(Xinhua Photo)

    

Chinese fencers crossed swords with South Koreans on two fronts, winning the men's team sabre final 45-44 and the women's epee 43-36.

    

The other team who swept the board on Tuesday was the Iranian freestyle wrestlers, who won the 60kg, 74kg and 96kg events.

    

Singapore enjoyed a gold binge on the sea, winning sailing's 420 men's race, 470 women's race and Beneteau 7.5 open event.

    

South Korea, Japan and Thailand each picked a sailing gold.

    

Thailand had its second gold of the day from sepaktakraw's men's double event, with the women's double title going to Vietnam.

Source:Xinhuanet 
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