WUHAN, China – Defending Uber Cup champions South Korea survived a scare of beingeliminated out of the top four on Wednesday as China‘s mighty badminton armada continuedtheir momentum by reaching the semifinals at Thomas and Uber Cup.
South Korea clinched their first ever Uber Cup title two years ago by beating China in the final,but they were made to work hard by Chinese Taipei this time in Wuhan in the quarter-finalsbefore they won 3–2.
In the first four matches, South Korea and Chinese Taipei leveled at 2-all. Hye Youn-hwang,former Asian Games and All England bronze medalist, withstood the pressure to defeat ShihHan Hung 21–18, 25–23 to finish the marathon battle which lasted five hours and 40 minutes.
South Korea will face Japan in the semifinals as China continued stable performance, making a3–0 clean sweep at both Thomas and Uber Cup.
The Chinese women‘s team, aiming to regain the Uber Cup, were too good for Germany. WorldNo 6 Juliane Schenk‘s absence made Germany even fragile in front of China.
Victories from world No 1 Wang Yihan and No 2 Wang Xin put China 2–0 ahead. Women doublesworld No 1 Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli held off the challenges from Carla Nelte/Isabel Herttrich tosecure a semifinal berth for China, with a score of 21–10, 19–21 and 21–8.
In the Thomas Cup, Chinese men‘s team were also through to the semifinals by beatingMalaysia. However, Malaysia made some impacts on China without world No 1 Lee Chong-wei,who suffered an ankle injury on Tuesday and had to rest for at least three weeks.
Lin Dan lost the opening set to Liew Daren. The four-time world champion then playedconfidently with the support of the home crowd, leading all the way in the following two sets towin the first match for China, 17–21, 21–9, 21–5.
Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng and Chen Long met little resistance from their opponents in the next twomatches as they both claimed victory in two sets.
China will meat Japan in the semifinals as Japan stopped Indonesia in another marathon match3–2. It was the first time the traditional badminton powerhouse didn‘t make it to the semifinals.
Former Olympic gold medalists Taufik Hidayat and Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan apparentlycouldn‘t find their peak form, losing to Kenichi Tago and Noriyasu Hirata/Hirokatsu Hashimotorespectively.
Victories from Simon Santoso and Mohammad Ahsan/Alvent Yulianto Chandra leveled theaggregate score to 2-all, but Jatakuma Ueda clinched the winning point for Japan in the decisivefifth match.
Denmark experienced a bitter-sweet day as their men‘s team entered last four of the ThomasCup by defeating Russia 3–0 and their women‘s team succumbed to Thailand 3–1 in the quarter-finals.