Tuesday, May 28, 2013

China Beat South Korea 3-0 To Retain Sudirman Cup

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 (Bernama) - China prove they are the world's best after beating South Korea 3-0 to lift the Sudirman Cup at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, here Sunday.

The title, the ninth for China, makes it the most successful in the cup's history having won in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. The only blip was the championship in 2003 when they finished as runners-up.

Sudirman Cup is the world's badminton mixed team championship.

The loss dashed South Korea's hopes of lifting the cup for a fourth time after winning in 1991, 1993 and 2003.

South Korea were runners-up in 1989, 1997 and 2009.

In Sunday's final, mixed doubles pair Xu Chen/Ma Jin (1) gave China the first point beating Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na, 21-13, 21-15.

Singles player Chen Long (2) extended the lead to 2-0 after beating Lee Dong Keun (63), 21-15, 21-10.

Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan (6), the 2013 All-England doubles champions, then upset Ko Sung Hyun/Lee Yong Dae (2) to win 21-19, 21-17 to make it 3-0.

Vice-president of Badminton World Federation (BWF) for Asian region, Liu Feng Yan presented the Sudirman Cup to China badminton head coach Li Yongbo.

Thailand and Denmark were tied for third after losing to South Korea and China 3-1 in the semi-final yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after the prize giving ceremony, Li, 50, praised his players for the superb performance against South Korea.

"I am happy that our players have avenged the 3-1 defeat against the same opponents in 2003. I congratulate them and the coaching staff for their untiring efforts.

"Actually, I don't expect my team to score an easy win against South Korea since we had to endure a tough fight against Indonesia in the quarter-final on Wednesday and Denmark in the semi-final yesterday," Li said.

The former Chinese mixed doubles player said the turning point was the vintage display put up by Xu/Ma against the South Koreans.

"Xu and Ma had a poor track record against the South Korean pair. Their win gave extra boost to the other players to contribute important points thus spoiling the mood of the South Koreans."

Asked about Malaysia's performance, Li said it should develop talented youngsters instead of depending heavily on season campaigners to deliver important points.

"We always gave chance to youngsters (such as Liu/Qiu in the men's doubles) to deliver points although I know it is a big gamble for the team."

South Korea's head coach Ha Tae-Kwon also echoed Li's view and urged Malaysia to learn how China develop new badminton talents to ensure continuity.

--BERNAMA

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