Russia to face S.Korea in badminton Uber Cup (pic)

Russia's Olga Golovanova (top) seen in action against Japan's Ai Goto at the Uber Cup badminton championships

KUALA LUMPUR — Russia’s top woman shuttler Ella Diehl will lead her country in the quarter-finals of the elite Uber Cup on Wednesday but is predicting defeat as they take on the mighty South Korea.

"Taking Russia into the Uber Cup quarter-finals is already an achievement in itself," she said. "But we don’t expect to go beyond the last eight in the Uber Cup after being drawn against the strong Koreans.Russia's Olga Golovanova (top) seen in action against Japan's Ai Goto at the Uber Cup badminton championships

"But we will give them a good fight. Even if lose, we will go out with dignity."

In other quarter-final matches in the women’s team world championships, defending champions China will take on India while Denmark face Japan.

Hosts Malaysia, who were overwhelmed 5-0 by defending champions China in their final Group A match on Tuesday, face Indonesia — a repeat of the final in December’s Southeast Asian Games in Laos which Malaysia won 3-1.

Diehl said she hoped to build on her Uber Cup experience — and the achievement last month of winning a bronze at the European championships — by getting a medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

"I am 31 but I still have some years of competitive badminton at a high level," she said. "I am ready to walk an extra mile in my training and play in as many competitions as possible to qualify for the Olympics," said Diehl, mother of a nine-year-old daughter Sophi.

The world number 15, who lives in Germany, said she is working hard to stay in the top 16 so that she will be seeded for this year’s World Championships in Paris.

"I want to do well in the world meet with high hopes of winning a medal. Winning the bronze in the European championships has given me confidence and I will go all out for the Uber Cup quarter-finals."

The quarter-finalists were whittled down from 12 countries competing in the group stage of the biennial Uber Cup, which started on Sunday, with China defending their title.

The Thomas Cup, the men’s equivalent, is played concurrently, with China also the team to beat.


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