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.
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.