WUHAN, China (AP) ― China got the final it wanted and a shot at revenge when South Korea defeated Japan 3-0 in Uber Cup badminton on Thursday.
China was stunned and humbled when it lost to the the first-time champion Koreans in the final two years ago, China’s first defeat since 1996. That team of mostly Uber-Cup newcomers vowed there wouldn’t be a repeat, and they beat Thailand 3-0 in their semifinal on Thursday to sweep into the final without dropping a match in front of a raucous home crowd.
|Korea’s Sung Ji-hyun returns a shot to Japan’s Sato Sayaka on Thursday. (Xinhua-Yonhap News)|
Wang Yihan and Wang Xin, the world Nos. 1 and 2, had no problems in winning their singles. The world’s top-ranked doubles pair of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang also won in straight games.
In the other semi, South Korea’s Sung Ji-hyun and Bae Youn-joo won their singles in straight games but the pair of Kim Min-jung and Ha Jung-eun dropped a game before beating Japanese Fuji Mizuki and Kakiwa Reika 21-13, 17-21, 21-14.
Sung said the six-hour quarterfinal win over Taiwan on Wednesday left her tired, and she surprised herself with how well she rebounded.
“We finished our quarterfinals at 1 a.m. and had to start our semifinal at 1 p.m. on the same day, that made me feel really tired,” Sung said. “I tried to be relaxed on court, and I think I played very good today.”
Bae, who along with Sung has beaten both Wangs, wasn’t fazed that the Chinese will have massive support in Saturday’s final.
“I will only focus on my match from now,” Bae said. “I want to give everything I can and I hope to win every single point in the final.”