Wednesday, May 24, 2017
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Wang Chi-Lin powered Chinese Taipei to an exciting win against Korea which ensured they finished on top of sub-group 1B at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2017 today.
With the tie in the balance, Wang and Lee Chia Hsin stayed steady against Choi Solgyu and Chae Yoo Jung in the fifth and final match to take Chinese Taipei through, 3-2.
Meanwhile, China served notice of their impressive all-round strength by beating Thailand 5-0 to top sub-group 1A.
Wang Chi-Lin (featured image) was the difference between Chinese Taipei and Korea today. The doubles player was indefatigable, with his power and placement proving difficult for Korea to counter. Wang and Chen Hung Ling shut out young Koreans Kim Duk Young/Park Kyung Hoon 21-19 21-13 in 36 minutes, setting the stage for Women’s Singles No.1 Tai Tzu Ying to show her magic against Sung Hi Hyun.
Sung, the last player to beat Tai – in December 2016 – fought doggedly as always but as the match wore on the strain of anticipating the trickery of the Taiwanese started to tell and she faded out in the third: 21-15 15-21 21-14.
Son Wan Ho brought Korea back into the contest beating Chou Tien Chen in straight games (Men’s Singles), before Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee took the tie into the fifth match with a quick victory over Hsu Ya Ching/Wu Ti Jung in Women’s Doubles.
The Mixed Doubles, between Wang/Lee Chia Hsin and Choi Solgyu/Chae Yoo Jung, was fought on level terms. The Koreans wilted slightly in the third and the Taiwanese pounced on them – Lee playing aggressively at the net and giving Wang the openings he needed. The match was won on the hour: 11-21 21-18 21-16.
“I’m happy that I could contribute two points to the team,” said Wang Chi-Lin. “In the first game we were attacking all the time and used a lot of power, but the Koreans are good at that kind of game. So from the second, we tried to play more tactically and used some variations, which worked out well.”
China Power Past Thailand
While Thailand, minus Ratchanok Intanon and with a rejigged Women’s Doubles combination, weren’t expected to upset China, few would have expected a straight-games result in all five matches. And yet, that’s what unfolded as China refused to concede an inch.
Kedren Kittinupong and Dechapol Puavaranukroh couldn’t quite get a hold on the thunderbolts from Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen in the opening Men’s Doubles as they went down 21-11 21-19.
Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong hadn’t taken a game off Chen Yufei in three previous matches – including the final of the last World Junior Championships – and today was no different. Chen was too quick and powerful for Chochuwong, who folded in 38 minutes: 21-16 21-15.
Olympic champion Chen Long had little trouble against Khosit Phetpradab in Men’s Singles, 21-13 21-12.
“I’d prepared myself to play Tanongsak (Saensomboonsuk); I lost the last match I played against him, and I wanted get it right at this event,” said Chen. “But it was Khosit today. My junior Shi Yuqi had beaten Khosit at the Badminton Asia Championships and we talked about him. I was just happy to be on court. It was a good test of my form.”
Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan (Women’s Doubles) and Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong (Mixed Doubles) completed the 5-0 rout.
Canada, hopeful of finishing second in Group 2, were clinical in shutting out New Zealand 5-0. The Canadians were back to full strength after resting their top players yesterday against Vietnam. Jason Anthony Ho-Shue, Nyl Yakura and Rachel Honderich did double duty; Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura won a close match against Kevin Dennerly-Minturn/Oliver Leydon-Davis in the opening Men’s Doubles 22-20 16-21 21-19 to set Canada on the path to victory.
Rachel Honderich rode roughshod over Sally Fu, 21-5 21-18, before Ho-Shue returned for his Men’s Singles against Dylan Soedjasa. Ho-She needed just 22 minutes to make it 3-0 for his team.
Honderich and Michelle Li were taken to three games in Women’s Doubles by Anona Pak/Danielle Tahuri. Yakura and Josephine Wu then put the finishing touches on the 5-0 scoreline with a 9-21 21-10 21-18 result over Oliver Leydon-Davis/Susannah Leydon-Davis.
“When we first started I think we were thrown off by either the wind or the speed of the shuttle,” said Li. “We were having trouble finding out how to defend their attacks and they were hitting some really good shots. They’re placement was really good so we were thrown off guard in the beginning. We’re glad that we pulled through.”
Sri Lanka Beat Slovakia
Sri Lanka emerged on top of sub-group 3B breezing past Slovakia 5-0.
Buwenaka Goonathileka and Kavindi Ishandika Sirimannage gave Sri Lanka the lead, winning the Mixed Doubles against Milan Dratva/Katarina Vargova 21-15 21-7 in just 23 minutes.
Lankan spearhead Niluka Karunaratne brooked no resistance from Matej Hlinican (21-13 21-15); neither did Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa in Women’s Singles (21-16 21-19) over Martina Repiska.
Karunaratne brothers Niluka and Dinuka (Men’s Doubles) and Hendahewa and Sirimannage (Women’s Doubles) both required just 23 minutes each to finish the tie.