Koreans play down chances against China


SOUTH Korea’s coach has admitted that his women’s badminton team have little chance of dislodging Uber Cup champions China and said it was a “miracle” his players had reached today’s final.

The South Koreans won a thrilling semi-final against Denmark on late Thursday thanks largely to the heroics of 18-year-old Lee Yun-hwa, who delivered both a singles and deciding doubles victory after being picked to play at the last minute.

But coach Kim Joong-su did not give his team much chance against the mighty Chinese, hot favourites for a fourth consecutive title, and said he had not expected his team to come through Thursday’s encounter.

“We think we’ll lose against China because China are very good,” he said.

“It’s a kind of miracle that we even got to this stage.”

He said he was not sure whether the exhausted-looking Yun-hwa would have the energy to play twice again after the marathon five-and-a-half-hour semi-final. “She’s very tired and she might not play twice on Saturday because she can’t force herself to play well,” Joong-su said. – AFP