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05-17-2004, 05:00 PM #1
NEWS: China's double badminton triumph sends out warning to Olympics rivals
China's double badminton triumph sends out warning to Olympics rivals
Monday May 17, 04:52 PM
JAKARTA, (AFP) - China's mighty badminton squad have sent out an ominous warning to their Olympic rivals after clinching a rare Thomas and Uber Cup double here.
The top-seeded men's and women's teams dropped only a game each in the premier event, both winning 3-1 in their finals.
Head coach Li Yongbo was delighted with the Thomas Cup final victory over Denmark late on Sunday, saying his men had deserved their win.
"We beat all our opponents to love before the final and we won the final 3-1, so we deserved to win the Thomas Cup," said head coach Li Yongbo, who was part of China's last Thomas Cup-winning team in 1990.
But Danish head coach Steen Pedersen said the Olympics were a very different proposition to the team tournament.
"In this tournament China had the best team and they have a lot of good players but other countries also have excellent players," he said.
"But the Olympics is a whole different ball game. It's different from a badminton tournament because you're living in a big city with all the other athletes.
"It's very difficult and a lot of nerves get to the players."
Pedersen said his players would also focus on Athens and conceded that many of his aging men's squad, unlikely to be around for the next Thomas Cup in 2006, had probably missed their chance of winning the trophy.
"I think there'll be some new players in the team but it takes a long time to develop a team," he said.
"But European players peak later than Asian players so some of the players may still be there."
The Danish men, average age 29, were outgunned by the Chinese, average age 22, in an absorbing final which unfortunately ended before the final singles match.
World number one Lin Dan triumphed over fierce rival Peter Gade, the 27-year-old former top singles player who has battled back from injury to claim the European championship, in a bad-tempered match which ended 15-8, 15-13.
Lin was yellow-carded for twice not being ready to receive serve and both players were summoned by the umpire for dressings-down.
"I wasn't fairly treated by the umpire in getting the yellow card," Lin said later.
However, the caution did not disturb his concentration as the 20-year-old capitalised on a series of mistakes by Gade to come from 13-9 down in the second game.
The dejected Dane was left slumped alone at the back of the stadium while Lin celebrated with his team-mates, ripping off his shirt and hurling it into the crowd.
"I had a chance of winning the second set and if I could have won that I don't know what could have happened -- I might have won the third set," said Gade, who like several Danish players was affected by a stomach bug this week.
"I gave everything. I was very tired in my body and my stomach has been not so good but I fought the best I could."
The Danes hit back through world champion doubles pair Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen, who knocked Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng out of their stride 17-16, 15-6.
Then Kenneth Jonassen came close to making it 2-1 with a typically determined display against Bao Chunlai. However, the world number four came back from a game down and 4-10 in the third game to hand China the advantage.
Sang Yang and Zheng Bo, ranked sixth in the world, then shocked European champions Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard 15-13, 15-8, sparking scenes of jubilation in the Senayan Indoor Stadium.
05-17-2004, 11:45 PM #2
If the Danes had any chance of ever winning the Thomas Cup this was it, but it was not to be. I do not believe they will ever come this close, and yet so far, again. China has made a major change to upgrading their doubles. The world should take note of this. The world will see China's emergence and then dominance in doubles over time. The Danes' chances will proportionately grow less promising. Other countries, including the Danes, must either face this new emerging badminton face of China and become more competitive or be left behind.
Against this background, I have a feeling the Danes might spearhead a rules change in the scoring system to level the playing field. This is one way to compete with China, but I don't think the game will be the same again if the scoring system is changed.
06-19-2004, 10:15 PM #3
Originally Posted by taneepak
What change(s) to the current scoring system the Danes might want? Games to 9pts, best three out of 5?
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