Great rivals clash for badminton gold

Badminton has the Olympic final it wanted in a scandal-marred week, with China's Lin Dan and Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei powering through their semi-finals on Friday to meet for the men's gold medal again.

No.1 ranked Lin ran over Lee Hyun-il of South Korea 21-12 21-10, and No.2 Chong Wei beat No 3 Chen Long of China 21-13 21-14.

Lin routed Chong Wei in the final at the Beijing Olympics four years ago.

But Lin and Chong Wei have remained the two biggest stars in the game, and their world championships final in the same Wembley Arena nearly a year ago was an instant epic that fans hope will be repeated on Sunday.

"I'm really happy that I get to meet my old opponent as we are the same age and we get to play at the final of the Olympics," Lin said.

"It's really good as it shows that we have not been knocked out by time.

"I hope we can get to our potential and achieve our medal dreams and I want to wish Lee luck in that, too."

Their clash will salve badminton after four women's doubles teams were disqualified for trying to lose group matches to rig favorable quarterfinal matchups.

The women's final on Saturday will be an all-Chinese contest between world champion Wang Yihan and the only players she fears, Li Xuerui.

China won the first gold of an attempted sweep of all five events when world champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei won the mixed doubles final. Zhao could add the women's doubles gold on Saturday.

Lin and Lee Hyun-il have been playing each other for a decade, and their matches this year in the Korea Open and Thomas Cup were tough. But Lin earned his best win over Lee in four years as he raced 11-1 up. The Korean admitted he was overwhelmed and tired from the day before, when he got revenge on Lin's Chinese teammate Chen Jin, who beat Lee in the Beijing bronze-medal playoff.

Lee will play for bronze again, against Chen Long.