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China storm into semis in Sudirman Cup

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Cai Yu of China plays a shot alongside his partner Fu Haifeng during their doubles match against England's Robert Blair and David Lindley at the Sudirman Cup World Team Badminton Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, June 12, 2007.
 
June 13 - Title holders China became the first team into the semifinals of the Sudirman Cup world team badminton championships after a second consecutive 5-0 victory over England on Tuesday.

 

The five-time winners, who whitewashed Thailand 5-0 in their opening day fixture, did not surrender even a single set after the first two Division one Group A ties.

 

As Malaysia beat Thailand 3-2 in the other Group A match, Malaysia and England both collected one win out of two while Thailand were left with two defeats.

 

Earlier in Group B matches, Asian powerhouse South Korea took a major stride towards the last four with their 4-1 victory over Chinese Hong Kong, making it two wins out of two.

 

"Our shuttlers played better games than the first day. We didn't lose a singe set but usually you have weaker opponents in group stage," Chinese team coach Li Yongbo told a press conference after the match.

 

"The real battle hasn't started yet. We'll wait and see what'll happen in the semifinals," he added.

 

Li tried a different lineup from the previous night but the Chinese seemed just unstoppable on the way to their sixth title.

 

Mixed doubles Zheng Bo and Gao Ling claimed the opening point 21-14, 21-16 against Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg while Andrew Smith gave men's singles world number one Lin Dan a fright before going down 21-19, 21-11.

 

"Smith pressured me much in the first set," Lin said afterwards, "but as long as I adapted to his game, I took control of the court."

 

"The first set was quite good. He's always difficult to play against, but I have played him a couple of times before and taken him to three sets," Smith said.

 

"Lin played very well on game point in the first and the second set was hard and it just frittered away."

 

Chinese veteran Zhang Ning replaced Xie Xingfang to play in the women's singles and she gave no chance to Tracey Hallam before wrapping up the victory for China with a 21-9, 21-15 comfortable win.

 

Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng then disposed of Robert Blair and David Lindley 21-14, 21-7 in the men's doubles and the whitewash was capped when Gail Emms and Donna Kellogg were brushed aside 21-12, 21-13 by Wei Yili and Zhang Yawen.

 

South Koreans started strong against Chinese Hong Kong as Han Sang Hoon and Hwang Yu Mi eased to a 21-10, 21-11 win against Yohan Hadikusumo and Hoi Wah Chau, and Park Sung Hwan made it 2-0 with a convincing 21-12, 21-13 men's singles victory over Wei Ng.

 

Pui Yin Yip hit back to win a close women's singles against Jang Soo Young, but Lee Jae Jin and Hwang Ji Man put the result beyond doubt with a comfortable 21-16, 21-16 triumph over Albertus Susanto Njoto and Wiratama.

 

Indonesia, who fell victim to the Koreans on the opening night, re-ignited hopes of matching their 1989 success in the tournament with a narrow 4-1 win over Denmark, with Tine Rasmussen grabbing the Danes' only rubber in the women's singles.

 

The opening men's singles proved to be the key as Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat emerged as the hero with a 21-18, 18-21, 21-13 victory over world No. 7 Peter Gade.

 

"In big part of the game I played very good and Taufik also played a good game today," said Gade.

 

"I had a good chance winning the first game but Taufik controlled the net and it's very important unfortunately. The first game very decisive, he is lucky but also very good."

 

Denmark will have to face a tough challenge of beating South Koreans on Wednesday to clinch a semifinal spot.

 


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