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Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Saturday, 16 August 2008 08:34 UK

Zhang fights back to claim gold

Video - Zhang hangs on to her title

Zhang Ning retained her Olympic badminton singles title with a superb fightback to beat fellow Chinese star Xie Xingfang 21-12 10-21 21-18.

Zhang, almost certainly playing her last match at the age of 33, struggled as world number one Xie gained ominous momentum in the second game.

But China's defending champion produced a defiant performance to take the gold.

Earlier, China missed a clean sweep of the medals when Indonesia's Maria Kristin Yulianti took bronze.

I'm 33 years old and I made it to the finals - I believe it was tenacity that got me this gold medal

Xhang Ling
"After Athens I didn't think about participating in Beijing," said second seed Zhang following her victory.

"I wasn't doing very well, I was kind of confused and I didn't know what to do, but then I persevered. I tried very hard and did a lot of training, so this gold didn't come very easily.

"I'm 33 years old and I made it to the finals - I believe it was tenacity that got me this gold medal."

Zhang's imminent retirement may be followed by Xie's withdrawal from badminton, if speculation in China is to be believed.

The losing finalist admitted she could not envisage an appearance at the London 2012 event in four years' time.

"I'm not thinking about London now, it's hard to imagine I will participate," she told reporters.

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Find out about the Beijing badminton venue

Badminton medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forChina 3 2 3 8
Men's Doubles 0 1 0
Men's Singles 1 0 1
Mixed Doubles 0 0 1
Women's Doubles 1 0 1
Women's Singles 1 1 0
2 also show each event results forIndonesia 1 1 1 3
Men's Doubles 1 0 0
Mixed Doubles 0 1 0
Women's Singles 0 0 1
3 also show each event results forSouth Korea 1 1 1 3
Men's Doubles 0 0 1
Mixed Doubles 1 0 0
Women's Doubles 0 1 0
4 also show each event results forMalaysia 0 1 0 1
Men's Singles 0 1 0

see also
Chinese take women's doubles gold
15 Aug 08 |  Badminton
Tearful Zhang reaches semi-finals
13 Aug 08 |  Badminton
Alan Wills blog
15 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics

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