Li Xuerui: A potential campaigner to strengthen Chinese supremacy – Badminton Feature
China has been ruling the badminton world for last two decades and it seems there is no major threat to his dominance in the arena as its shuttlers are escorting their country to new heights by clinching every prominent title.
The Men’s Singles flank is covered by maestros like Lin Dan, Chen Long and Chen Jin while the Women’s Singles department comprises world beaters like Wang Yihan, Wang Xin and Wang Shixian.
Apart from this “Wang” gang, Li Xuerui is another Chinese female campaigner who has raised her country’s flag at the international level. She has earned a respectable position in the arena despite spending just couple of years.
Especially, this ongoing season saw her in prime touch as she grabbed all the attention by claiming a gold medal in 2012 London Olympics and then proved her worth by clinching prestigious titles which include All England Open, India Open, Badminton Asia
Championships and German Open.
The 21-year-old Li Xuerui rose to prominence when she became Junior Asian Champion back in 2008. She has to wait for two years to raise the trophy at senior level. She started her journey with Badminton Asian Championships title in 2010 and then never looked
back en route to glory.
Earlier in the beginning of this season, she was an underrated shuttler but the Chinese player served notice of her potential by playing her given role to the perfection in Uber Cup preliminaries.
Her first individual title was 2012 German Open and she earned great deal of admiration by overpowering a seasoned shuttler Juliane Schenk in the title match.
Li Xuerui made best out of this win in All England Open and stole the limelight by capturing top spot on the victory stand of the world’s oldest badminton tournament. She alarmed all the contestants by stamping the Indian badminton queen Saina Nehwal in
elimination round and then stole the limelight by beating Wang Yihan in the grand finale.
This splendid victory boosted her confidence and she outclassed the World Number one Wang Yihan again in the Badminton Asia Championships. Both compatriot shuttlers remained head-to-head for three gruelling sets but then Li Xuerui tipped the scale in her
favour with 2-1 match score.
She stretched her winning streak and bagged India Open title. She was up against the German campaigner Juliane Schenk and this hard fought tussle prolonged to three games but the young Li Xuerui showed maturity in her craft and locked the honour.
Though, she received a severe blow by losing the title match of Indonesia Open just before the London Games but still she did not lose heart and made amends by wearing a gold medal around her neck.
In the mega Olympics, she raised her chances by stamping a higher ranked opponent Wang Xin in the semi-finals. She made her first Olympic appearance memorable by thrashing the badminton queen Wang Yihan for a third time in 2012 season.
These impressive international outings elevated her status at the senior level and she proudly holds the second spot in the world ranking.
Li Xuerui, undoubtedly, has been the most consistent and successful female shuttler of China in this season and she has played her vital role to ensure country’s dominance in the arena.
Now the badminton critics are declaring her an eligible replacement of the famous “Wang gang” but she will have to keep performing like that to lift this burden of expectations in the future.
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