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China, Indonesia to wrap up both Thomas & Uber Cup Finals

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-05 08:41
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China's Shi Yuqi celebrates in Chengdu, May 4,2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

CHENGDU -- China and Indonesia split all four tickets for both Thomas Cup and Uber Cup finals after their men's and women's badminton teams won their respective semifinals here on Saturday.

During the evening session, the Chinese men's team overcame Malaysia 3-1 to make it to the Thomas Cup final, while Indonesia took the other final spot by beating Chinese Taipei 3-0.

Early in the morning session, the Chinese women's team defeated Japan 3-0 to advance to the Uber Cup final, while Indonesia toppled defending champion South Korea 3-2 for the other final ticket.

In the Thomas Cup semis, world No. 2 Shi Yuqi awarded China the first point by defeating Lee Zii Jia 21-19, 21-5 in just 39 minutes.

"My opponent has been in great form recently, and the first game was so intense. Honestly, I played very carefully in the second game, but I don't know why he made more errors (during the second game)," said Shi.

After Malaysian duo Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik beat Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang 15-21, 21-12, 21-17 to level the scoreline, Li Shifeng dominated the second singles clash, winning 21-17, 21-10 against Leong Jun Hao to regain the lead for China at 2-1.

"My body has recovered well these days, so I wanted to release my strength today. The loss of Liang and Wang didn't affect my mentality," Li said.

In the second doubles, He Jiting and Ren Xiangyu rallied from one game down to defeat Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin 18-21, 21-19 and 21-12 to seal the victory.

Meanwhile, Indonesia who holds the record of 14 titles in the Thomas Cup history, had an easy win over Chinese Taipei in the other semifinal and will play the final against China, who last time only made it to the last eight, but stands closely with 10 titles.

On the women's side, China aims to retake the Uber Cup which it lost to South Korea two years ago.

Playing on home soil again since 2016, Olympic champion Chen Yufei ousted Aya Ohori 21-18, 21-15 in straight games, before world No. 1 Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan made it 2-0 with a comeback victory over Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida 14-21, 21-13 and 23-21.

"They played very well, but we always looked for a way to win. It was just 18-12 down and we won't give up even if we were 20-12 down," explained Chen and Jia, who overcame the six-point deficit and even saved two match points en route to their victory.

"Whenever I'm on the court, I want to win all matches with Jia," added Chen.

Then, He Bingjiao sealed the Uber Cup final spot for China by defeating Nozomi Okuhara 21-8, 21-18.

Also in the morning, Indonesia knocked out defending champion South Korea, by winning all three singles matches to reach the final for the first time since 2008.

"This is our first semifinal in the past 14 years, so winning this match means a lot to the team," said Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, who took the first point for Indonesia with a 21-15, 21-13 victory over Sim Yu-jin.

"My dream since I was a kid was to win the Uber Cup," added the budding star.

South Korean Baek Ha-na and Lee So-hee levelled the score by beating Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti 21-6, 21-18.

Indonesia regained the upper-hand when Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo won over Kim Ga-ram 20-22, 21-16, 21-12, before Jeong Na-eun and Kong Hee-yong tied the semifinal again by taking the second doubles match over Lanny Tria Mayasari and Ribka Sugiarto 21-15, 21-14.

During the decisive third singles match, Komang Ayu Cahya Dewi rallied from one game down to triumph over Kim Min-sun 17-21, 21-16 and 21-19, awarding Indonesia the ticket to the final.

"I want to congratulate Indonesia's women's team. After a very long time, they finally stood on the final stage again. I think it's also a great incentive for us," said Indonesian men's singles ace Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.

The biennial Thomas Cup and Uber Cup finals are scheduled to be held on Sunday in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

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