Great Wall crumbles as Korea beat China 3-1 in Thomas Cup quarters

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Chen Long (top) and Son Wan Ho of South Korea shake hands after their first men's singles match in the 2016 Thomas Cup. (photo: AFP)

Kunshan: The home crowd was left stunned at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium on Thursday night when badminton powerhouse China’s domination in badminton suffered a heart-breaker after Korea pulled off a huge upset to beat China 3-1 in the quarter-finals of the Thomas Cup.Chen Long (top) and Son Wan Ho of South Korea shake hands after their first men's singles match in the 2016 Thomas Cup. (photo: AFP)

The China men’s team also stumbled in the 2014 Thomas Cup as they were knocked out by Japan 3-0 in the semi-finals.

China’s World No. 1 Chen Long experienced an early setback when he lost 12-21, 21-16, 15-21 to Son Wan Ho and the Chinese, 9-time winners of the Thomas Cup, fell further behind when they lost the first doubles match.

Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan fought hard, but ultimately did no prevail when they lost to World No. 1 men’s pair Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong 25-23, 21-23, 12-21 in a lengthy 96 minutes encounter.

Two time Olympic Champion Lin Dan rekindled Chinese hopes when he calmly reduced China’s deficit to 1-2 after seeing off Lee Dong Keun 21-10, 21-15 in 51 minutes.

World number four men’s doubles pair Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang wasted little time steering Korea into the Thomas Cup semi-finals with a crushing win over China’s scratch pair Li Junhui/Zheng Siwei 21-15, 21-18 in a 32 minutes match.

This was the worst loss for China in the Thomas Cup history. China has ensured at least a semi-final placing in each Thomas Cup Finals since 1982 until they were beaten by Korea in the quarter-finals of the 2016 edition.

Korea will play Indonesia in the Thomas Cup semi-finals on Friday.

China, however, remained on course to defend their Uber Cup title after overpowering Chinese Taipei 3-0 in the quarter-final of the women’s event.

On Friday’s semi-final, they will face India who downed Thailand 3-1 in another Uber Cup quarter-finals.

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