'Slow' China off to a shaky start in Sudirman Cup

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 May, 2013, 3:25am


Defending champions China experienced a shaky start to their defence of the Sudirman Cup despite whipping India 5-0 in their opening group A match yesterday.

So distraught were the Chinese officials over their players' lacklustre performances that they snubbed the official press conference after their tie.

The eight-time winners of the trophy, who are gunning for their fifth consecutive crown, took more than three hours to subdue their opponents to virtually guarantee themselves a place in the quarter-finals.

The third team in group A are former champions Indonesia, who play India today.

With only three teams in each of the four groups, the top two countries will qualify for Thursday's quarter-finals.

More worryingly for China was the form of world champion Wang Yihan, who was stretched to three games by upcoming Indian star P.V. Sindhu, who was playing in place of the injured Saina Nehwal.

The lanky Wang, who spoke after her 19-21, 21-16, 21-14 victory, said: "She [Sindhu] is a tough opponent. I should have won the first game, but threw it away. She is young and hungry, and took me by surprise and I couldn't cope.

"I found my rhythm in the second game and took control from then on. I hope I can play in more matches after this."

In another division one match, Denmark outplayed Singapore 4-1. The Europeans, who are undergoing a transitional period following the retirement of legendary shuttlers Peter Gade and Tine Baun, will take on Japan tomorrow.

The Danes have taken heart from their great start. "I'm still confident our team can win a medal in this tournament. It won't be easy but we are very determined to show what we can do," said Gade's heir apparent, Jan O Jorgensen.