Earthquake fails to jolt fired-up Zhongbo

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AN earthquake hit at the south-western Chinese province of Sichuan yesterday but doubles shuttler Xie Zhongbo will stay focused on his Thomas Cup tasks.

“I do not stay there but I will get in touch with my friends to ensure that all is all right there,” said the 26-year-old, who forms the second ranked pair in the team with Guo Zhendong.

They are considered as the weakest link in China's bid to win the Cup for the third consecutive time but Zhongbo begged to differ.

“Very little separates the top eight men's doubles pairs in the world. And it is equal among the top five (China, Indonesia, Denmark, Malaysia and South Korea). Our country can count on us,” he said.

The other Chinese pairs are former world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng and He Hanbin-Shen Ye. Their singles players are Lin Dan, Bao Chunlai, Chen Jin and Chen Yu.

Meanwhile, China's chief coach Li Yongbo said that China's tasks had become tougher after assessing the performances of the other four title contenders over the last two days.

“This scoring format had made it very unpredictable for all the teams. Indonesia almost lost against Thailand. It will only be harder for the men's team,” he said.

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