China dom­i­nate S Korea to clinch Uber Cup fi­nal

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

KUN­SHAN (China)—Olympic cham­pion Li Xuerui led the Chi­nese na­tional squad to vic­tory over South Korea at the Uber Cup fi­nal in China Satur­day, se­cur­ing the coun­try’s 14th world bad­minton team cham­pi­onship ti­tle in dom­i­nant fash­ion.

China rarely sur­ren­dered com­mand over the court dur­ing its 3-1 tri­umph in front of a packed home crowd in the eastern city of Kun­shan, near Shang­hai.

Li, the world num­ber three, brushed off an early deficit af­ter drop­ping the first game to sev­enth-ranked Sung Ji-hyun.

The Olympic gold medal­list ral­lied back for the win by con­trol­ling the pace and keep­ing the South Korean out of sync with re­peated drop shots in the 14-21, 2113, 21-10 vic­tory.

“Ev­ery step in the team match is one step for my­self,” Li told a news con­fer­ence af­ter the match, adding she planned to cel­e­brate “qui­etly” af­ter the week-long tour­na­ment.

Sixth-ranked dou­bles team Jung Kyung-eun and Shin Se­ung-chan from South Korea pre­vented a white­wash, pow­er­ing through a 16-21, 21-17, 25-23 scrap against the world num­ber four China duo of Tian Qing and Zhao Yun­lei that clocked in at 94 min­utes.

Wang Shix­ian put China back in the win col­umn as she ex­hausted Kim Hy­omin, mov­ing the shut­tle­cock across the court at will dur­ing the 21-13, 21-12 rout.

Fol­low­ing the win, Wang down­played her in­di­vid­ual ef­forts and Olympic am­bi­tions as Rio ap­proaches, say­ing she was proud to be “fight­ing for our team, for our na­tional team”.

Chen Qingchen and Tang Yuant­ing de­liv­ered the third and fi­nal vic­tory in the best of five se­ries by beat­ing Chang Ye-na and Lee So-hee in straight sets, 21-14, 2116.

With the cham­pi­onship sealed, the fans in at­ten­dance un­leashed a deaf­en­ing ap­proval of the pair’s spir­ited per­for­mance as their team­mates rushed onto the court to cel­e­brate.

The South Kore­ans, who were aiming to end their six-year drought at the Uber Cup, were un­able to find their groove dur­ing the tie and suf­fered in the ab­sence of their sec­ond sin­gles player Bae Yeon-Ju, who was side­lined by an an­kle in­jury sus­tained on court Fri­day night.

China has won three-straight Uber Cups and 14 in to­tal since the team first started com­pet­ing in the tour­na­ment in 1984.—AFP

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