New Delhi: "India still has a long way to go before it overtakes China in women badminton. The gap between China and other countries remains significant," said China's badminton Chief coach Li Yongbo during a media conference on Friday.
Li Yongbo is a controversial figures yet a successful badminton chief coachLi Yongbo is a controversial figures yet a successful badminton chief coach
Li stressed that he is not too concern about India even though the home team has several good shuttlers such as Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu. He also praised countries such as India, Japan and Thailand for cultivating home-grown badminton talent.
"Last few years, we have seen players from India, Japan and Thailand were capable to compete and to win major badminton tournaments," Yongbo said.
"The popularity of badminton in India is growing, and it is no doubt a huge market for badminton. That's why Badminton World Federation held Super Series and Thomas and Uber Cup Finals here," added Li.
Li told the media that China will not underestimate any opponents despite its strong lineup in both Thomas Cup and Uber Cup and will play all matches seriously.
In Thomas Cup, China has been grouped with Chinese Taipei, Russia and France. In Uber Cup, they were drawn with Chinese Taipei, Russia and England.
Li was confident that China could defend Uber Cup, but was a little conservative about the Thomas Cup team.
"Nowadays, we are facing strong challenges from a lot of countries, but we are still confident of winning the Uber Cup. For the first time, I have three strong women's doubles to choose from, compare to only one pair previously. As for the Thomas Cup team, we are well prepared, and ready for the competition," he said.