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China's badminton stars reclaim global supremacy

By Sun Xiaochen in Chengdu | | Updated: 2024-05-05 22:37
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China's world-conquering badminton players delivered a double delight to fans on Sunday by winning both titles at the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals and reclaiming supremacy in the sport in which the country enjoys a triumphant tradition.

The Chinese women's shuttlers got the host's final push off to a smooth start by beating Indonesia by a convincing 3-0, clinched by leading singles star Chen Yufei, world No 1 doubles team Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan, and second-ranked singles ace He Bingjiao in their respective matches, to lift their 16th Uber Cup silverware in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

A few hours after the women's triumph, the Chinese men's team completed the remarkable day by outplaying Indonesia in a 3-1 late-night final to claim their 11th title in the Thomas Cup, the equivalent men's team championship.

World No 2 Shi Yuqi started strong in the opening singles match as he thrashed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-17, 21-6 in 43 minutes to set the tone, before doubles teammates Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang put the hosts in the driver's seat by beating Indonesian pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto 21-18, 17-21, 21-17 to build a 2-0 lead.

Despite Li Shifeng's tough 2-1 loss to world No 3 Jonatan Christie in the second singles fixture, Team China tied up the loose end in style with a second doubles win by He Jiting and Ren Xiangyu over Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana, which helped the Chinese men recapture the Thomas Cup six years after their last win in 2018.

It was the just the second time in 12 years that China has won both team titles at the Cup doubleheader, with victory in 2012 also on home courts, in Wuhan, Hubei province.

The victories at the biannual tournament have boded well for Team China's Olympic ambitions in Paris, where fans will be expecting a medal-laden campaign.

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