Guangzhou, Nov 14 The Uber Cup loss turned up to be a valuable lesson for the Chinese team, said badminton head coach Li Yongbo after the side moved into the team final at the Asian Games here Sunday.
Defending champions China defeated South Korea 3-0 in the women’s team semifinal, avenging their final loss in the Uber Cup in May that stopped China from lifting the trophy for the seventh consecutive time.
‘It has been some time since China suffered a defeat until the Uber Cup where the players came to realised that no team is unbeatable,’ Xinhua quoted Li as saying.
‘Our defeat at the Uber Cup and win at the Asian Games told us that you should be fully prepared at any time,’ said Li. ‘The last time, we took the South Koreans too lightly and paid a price for it.’
In Sunday’s semifinals, World No.1 Wang Xin eased past Bae Yeonju 21-17, 21-12 in the first singles before new pair Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang got the better of Lee Kyungwon and Ha Jungeun, winning 21-12, 21-19 and Wang Shixian overcame Bae Seunghee 21-18, 18-21, 21-14.
Xin admitted that she felt both pressure and motivation prior to the match.
‘It was not only pressure but also motivation. I was not very stressed. My coach and team mates were very supportive,’ said Xin, who was the only player to taste a win in China’s 1-3 defeat to South Korea in the Uber Cup final.
It took Wang Shixian a little while longer than her team mates to seal the win when she faced the more experienced Bae, 27.
‘Wang Shixian’s victory was not that easy as her team mates but that was understandable since Bae Seunghee was a very strong opponent who defeated Wang Yihan at the Uber Cup final,’ said Li.
For the Chinese team, the victory is more than something to get back at their opponents but a process that the young players to learn in their build-up for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
‘Asian Games is a place where the players collect experience. Most of the time China’s only enemy is ourselves. Only when the players find the right mindset and do their best, do they have a good chance to win,’ added Li.