Friday, May 14, 2010

Too Powerful for Host

Kuala Lumpur (5/14) - China progress into Thomas Cup Final after destroying Malaysia 3-0. The defending champion is too powerful for the home players that all of the Chinese players only need two sets to win.

2008 Olympic gold-medalist and three-time world champion Lin Dan overcame world number one Lee Chong Wei 21-17 and 21-8 to give China their first point. Lin Dan also stopped Lee Chong Wei's unbeatable run in Thomas Cup.

In the end of the match, Lin Dan took off his shirt and performed a break dance.

“Malaysia have not won the Cup for 18 years and there were great expectations on him (Chong Wei).

“There was too much pressure on him,” said Lin Dan. “It is not that Chong Wei's game was predictable but, I think, he was under pressure and could not play his game.

“I knew that I could not let Chong Wei win the first point and I played well from the start. It was an important match for China too.”

Asked whether taking off his shirt was a celebration ritual for him, Lin Dan said humorously: “The first time I took off my shirt was at the 2004 Thomas Cup Finals. I was so happy when I defeated Peter (Gade-Christensen of Denmark). I was young then.

“This time, I took off to see whether I am as muscular as before!”

Lin Dan's head-to-head against Lee Chong Wei is now 13-5. While Lin Dan was happy, Lee Chong Wei was very sad.

“I’m disappointed and sorry for the fans as I could not deliver a point.

“It suddenly felt like the court was too small and I could not see any space to hit the shuttle. I was demoralised when he retrieved all my attacking shots,” said Chong Wei.

“He took a 10-3 lead in the opening game and that rattled me. I lost my focus and found it hard to narrow the gap,” said Chong Wei

“All of a sudden I felt that my standard had dropped. Lin Dan was too good today.”

“I didn’t play well today at all. I’m not giving any excuses or say that there was added pressure on me to deliver due to the large crowd. Lin was just too good today."

More Defeat

Fans were disappointed again when another world number one Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong were defeated easily by Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng in a 36-minute match, 15-21 and 21-10.

Boon Heong admitted that “we lost to a better pair”.

“They were good in all departments today. They were fast in their attack, solid in defence and able to read our game,” said Boon Heong.

“Overall, they were more solid. Kien Keat and I tried our best but it just did not happen for us.”

“We have lost to them in team events for four times. It is not because we are not good team players. We are but they were just too good today. We will work harder to get the better of them," said Kien Keat.

Ultimately, Chen Jin of China ended Malaysia with a 21-16, 21-7 victory over Wong Choong Hann.

Chen Jin shakes hand with Choong Hann

In the other semi-final which was held earlier, Indonesia beat Japan 3-1. After Taufik Hidayat defeat Kenichi Tago and Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan defeat Kenichi Hayakawa/Kenta Kazuno in comfortable two-set matches, Japanese Sho Sasaki stunned Simon Santoso 21-19, 13-21, and 21-11.

Japan almost equalized the score 2-2 when Hiroyuki Endo and Noriyasu Hirata chased Nova Widhianto/Alvent Yulianto's points in the second set. Left 15-20, Hiroyuki/Noriyasu made it 20-20 but failed to create a good finish that the Indonesian pair won 21-14 and 22-20.

thestar 12
pictures by thestar and thomasuberkl2010

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