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Host China dominates Thomas & Uber Cup group opener

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-28 09:18
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China's Liu Yuchen (L) and Ou Xuanyi return a shot during a group stage match against Australia at the Thomas and Uber Cup in Chengdu of Southwest China on Saturday. [Photo/Xinhua]

CHENGDU - Chinese men's and women's teams whitewashed their opponents 5-0 respectively during the opening day of the group stage at the Thomas and Uber Cup on Saturday.

Playing on home soil again since 2016, China is looking to triumph in the biennial international badminton championships, as the badminton powerhouse only finished in the last eight in the men's Thomas Cup and lost the women's Uber Cup final two years ago.

On Saturday, China crushed Singapore in the Uber Cup, with He Bingjiao defeating Yeo Jia Min 21-15, 21-13, while two other local singles players and two local doubles pairs also won in straight games.

"Hopefully my performance will encourage my teammates," said He. "We must show our momentum at home."

In other Uber Cup matches, defending champion South Korea beat Mexico 5-0, and Gregoria Mariska Tunjung led Indonesia to whitewash Hong Kong, China.

On the men's side, world No. 2 Shi Yuqi beat Ricky Tang 21-3, 21-13 in just 29 minutes, leading China to seal a resounding win against Australia.

"I was a little nervous and a little excited today because I don't know my opponent very well and no men's singles player in today's badminton world is easy to beat," said the new captain of China.

"I could feel the spectators' enthusiasm, so I picked up my pace," Shi added.

In earlier plays, world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen dominated in straight games as Denmark thrashed Algeria 5-0, while Malaysia also took a 5-0 win over Hong Kong, China.

The championships, held in Chengdu, southwestern China's Sichuan Province, marked the 33rd edition of the Thomas Cup and the 30th edition of the Uber Cup, with each tournament featuring 16 teams in four groups and taking place from April 27 to May 5.

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