Olympics badminton: China's Li wins women's singles gold
Li Xuerui beat compatriot and world champion Wang Yihan to win gold in the Olympic women's singles badminton.
Third seed Li won 21-15 21-23 21-17 to become the fourth Chinese winner of the event in consecutive games.
The 21-year-old had two gold medal points in the second game but Wang saved both before setting up a decider.
India's Saina Nehwal won bronze after China's Wang Xin retired with a knee injury.
Wang had been leading 21-18 1-0 when she conceded the match but her retirement gave India their first badminton Olympic medallist.
Li made a strong start in the final against the world champion and took the opening game but Wang Yihan struck back in the second game, saving match points at 20-19 and 21-20 before converting her first game-point opportunity.
Li looked to be struggling in the third game but she went 8-3 ahead early on and although Wang hit back and levelled it at 17-17, it was Li who went on to claim gold.
She was a last-minute entry for the event after being chosen ahead of former world number one Wang Shixian and her 30-match winning streak this year included three wins over her final opponent.
"Winning gold is a happy, exciting moment but the glory shouldn't be for me alone, it should be for the whole Chinese team," said Li afterwards.
"Together with my teammate [Wang] we played brilliantly, and presented an exciting match for the audience.
"Both of us performed well in terms of technique. There isn't anything extremely good or bad. It's a competition, you have to produce a winner and a loser."
Li also said that she had to dig deep for victory.
"Friends who know me well will be aware that I have these physical stamina problems," she added. "I'm not that physically strong. Yesterday I was also quite tired but you can never underestimate the aspirations of an athlete wishing to achieve a gold medal. That kind of persistence and determination to keep going made sure I achieved the gold medal today."