THE DRAMAS of the Olympic badminton tournament reached a fitting climax yesterday afternoon as the two best singles players the game has seen fought out another battle royal at Wembley Arena.
The contest may not have been quite the nail-biter of last year's world final in the same venue but it was still a thriller with defending champion Lin Dan becoming the first player to win two Olympic singles titles when he overcame his great rival Lee Chong Wei.
Photo - Lin Dan, Men's Singles Olympic Gold Medallist, pictured with BADMINTONscotland President Karen Stalker and daughter Brooke.
Lin Dan prevailed 15-21 21-10 21-19, winning five of the last six points before racing across the arena in wild celebration.
Just over an hour later four-times world champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng ended their long wait for Olympic gold when they took the men's doubles title with a straight-games win over Denmark's Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe.
That victory completed China's full set of five gold medals with Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei having started the clean sweep by taking the the mixed doubles on Friday.
Saturday belonged to China's women as Li Xuerui beat team-mate Wang Yihan in the singles and then Zhao Yunlei claimed her second gold of London 2012 when she and Tian Qing won the women's doubles event which had caused such controversy earlier in the week when eight players were disqualified.
Their attempts to manipulate the knockout draw will lead to the BWF almost certainly making adjustments to the tournament format to prevent a repeat at Rio 2016. Several options are to be considered with the most likely being a draw after the group stages so that players don't know in advance who they meet in the quarter-finals.
But BWF Chief Operating Officer Thomas Lund said yesterday that the group system had been a great success and given players greater exposure than would have been the case if the tournament had simply been a straight knockout competition.
Gold medal match: Lin Dan (Chn) bt Lee Chong Wei (Mas) 15-21 21-10 21-19 (79min)
Bronze medal match: Chen Long (Chn) bt Lee Hyun-il (Kor) 21-12 15-21 21-15 (80m)
Gold medal match: Cai Yun & Fu Haifeng (Chn) bt Carsten Mogensen & Mathias Boe Den) 21-16 21-15 (45m)
Bronze medal match: Jung Jae Sung & Lee Yong Dae (Kor) bt Koo Kien Keat & Tan Boon Heong (Mas) 23-21 21-10 (47m)
Gold medal match: Li Xuerui (Chn) bt Wang Yihan (Chn) 21-15 21-23 21-17 (78min)
Bronze medal match: Saina Nehwal (Ind) bt Wang Xin (Chn) 18-21 0-1 retired (29m)
Gold medal match: Tian Qing & Zhao Yunlei (Chn) bt Mizuki Fujii & Reika Kakiiwa (Jpn) 21-10 25-23 (56m)
Bronze medal match: Valeria Sorokina & Nina Vislova (Rus) bt Michelle Li & Alex Bruce (Can) 21-9 21-10 (27min)
Gold medal match: Zhang Nan & Zhao Yunlei (Chn) bt Chen Xu & Ma Jin (Chn) 21-11 21-17 (43mins)
Bronze medal match: Joachim Fischer Nielsen & Christinna Pedersen (Den) bt Tontowi Ahmad & Liliyana Natsir (Ina) 21-12 21-12 (42min)