Chinese juggernaut roll past South Korea
China grab their ninth Sudirman Cup to put them in good stead for worlds in Guangzhou
Agence France-Presse in Kuala Lumpur
An imperious China won their fifth consecutive Sudirman Cup and ninth overall, crushing South Korea 3-0 yesterday.
Despite some hiccups along the way - the Chinese were stretched to the limit by Indonesia in the quarter-finals before winning 3-2 - the Great Wall proved impenetrable and they look set to dominate the world championships in Guangzhou from August 5 to 11.
They won all five world titles two years ago in Paris and all five Olympic gold medals in London last year.
Yesterday's Sudirman Cup victory at the Putra Stadium was also the fifth straight final in the word mixed team championships that China have won without dropping a match.
But Chinese coach Li Yongbo insisted it had been a tough tournament, with teams like Thailand showing progress by reaching their first ever semi-final.
"I disagree with anyone who say we had it easy in this tournament. We had to fight all the way to win this title," said Li.
China's mixed pair of Xu Chen and Ma Jin got the ball rolling by defeating Asian champions Ko Sung-hyun and Kim Ha-na 21-13, 21-15.
Kim was a bundle of nerves as she repeatedly either sent the shuttle into the net or wide of the mark to give the Chinese point after point.
The men's singles was one-way traffic with world No 2 Chen Long too good for Lee Dong-Keun, as the All-England champion wrapped up the tie 21-15, 21-10 in 47 minutes.
Ko Sung-hyun and Lee Yong-dae took on Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zuhan but Liu and Qiu triumphed over two sets by narrow margins, sealing victory for China in a 21-19, 21-17 win.
South Korea team manager Greg Kim said that the team's hopes rested on pinching the first tie of the match, the mixed doubles.
"As soon as we lost that, we knew we would face an uphill task."