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China claims fifth consecutive Thomas title

Updated: 2012-05-27 19:45
( Xinhua)

WUHAN, China - China cruised past South Korea 3-0 to claim their fifth consecutive Thomas Cup title here on Sunday.

Host China field an all world top-10 line-up in their bid for a fifth consecutive title, a record only Indonesia achieved from 1994 to 2002 in the history of the Thomas Cup. And they achieved it by winning all the matches at these team championships without losing a single point.

China claims fifth consecutive Thomas title

Lin Dan of China holds up the Thomas Cup trophy as his teammates celebrate on the podium after defeating South Korea in the final round of the Thomas Cup badminton tournament in Wuhan, Hubei province May 27, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]

It's also China's ninth Thomas Cup title.

"Indonesia have done it before, so we just reached their record. I hope we can win the title two years later so that a new record will be set,"  said Li Yongbo, head coach of the Chinese team.

South Korea, who defeated Denmark 3-1 in the semifinals, provided limited challenges for China.

Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion Lin Dan was too good for Lee Hyun Il, putting China 1-0 ahead with an easy 21-14, 21-17 victory.

Lin helped China clinch five Thomas Cup titles in the past eight years. After he won the new title, Lin increased the number of his world champion trophies to 16, an all-time record.

"It's my sixth Thomas Cup. When I first played at the tournament, I was very excited, but now I feel it as an obligation to win the match, not only for myself but also for the fans and media who hope to see me win,"  said Lin.

The 28-year-old never seemed satisfied as he had already turned his focus to the London Olympic Games two months later.

"Just like what I did in 2008, I will train hard every day. We never know the result, but I will try my best," said Lin, who beat world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in the final of the Beijing Olympic Games.

"My opponent at the London Olympics will not only be Chong Wei or Peter Gade. Every player is my opponent and in every match I will put up a fight."

Men's doubles world No. 1 Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng met hard resistance from Lee Yong Dae/Kim Sa Rang before they won 21-16, 25-23.

Cai/Fu had a better start, but in the second set they were made to work hard by saving three set points.

"We were heading for a record fifth consecutive Thomas Cup title, which was really a temptation, so we were under pressure on the court," explained Cai.

Men's doubles world No. 2 Lee's original partner Sung Jung Jae was absent due to injury, but Lee felt comfortable to pair with Kim.

"My focus is the London Olympics, Sung will be back at that time. The result of the Thomas Cup is not so important," said Lee.

Chen Long secured the win for China after pushing aside Shon Wan Ho 21-9, 21-13.

The 23-year-old Chen was deemed by Li as the hopeful of the Chinese team. "Chen is very calm in the third match. He is very promising. We never lack young players," said Li.

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