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05-12-2005, 01:53 AM #1
Fancied China lead top teams into the semi-finals
BEIJING: The four top teams all earned semi-final berths in the second day of competition at the Sudirman Cup yesterday, favourites China doing so in impressive style with a second straight sweep.
The fancied Chinese blasted past their southern siblings 5-0. Indonesia, the other strong team in Group 1B, also won, 4-1 over Sweden.
In earlier competition, holders South Korea and Denmark both showed steely nerves in taking hard-fought second wins for places in the semi-finals.
China's Xie Xingfang looked every bit the top-ranked woman in the world, almost effortlessly beating Yip Pui Yin 11-2, 11-0.
Chinese coach Li Yongbo rested Xie's boyfriend Lin Dan, the world's top man, and went with Bao Chunlai, who was the only Chinese to lose a game yesterday but still took a 15-5, 13-15, 15-5 win from Agus Hariyanto.
Indonesia's men also looked strong as Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat's recorded a 15-1, 15-7 defeat of Hugi Heimirsson to go with 2-0 victory from doubles pair Luluk Hadiyanto and Alvent Yulianto.
The team's only loss came when Sweden's Elin Bergblom fought a comeback attempt by Adrianti Firdasari to win 11-7, 6-11, 13-11.
China and Indonesia face off today for top place in Group 1B. South Korea and Denmark meet in a Group 1A showdown.
Earlier yesterday, South Korea had to fend off stiff challenges en route to a 5-0 sweep of England.
Denmark came back from one game down in two matches on the way to a 4-1 victory over Thailand.
"It will be a very tough match against the Koreans but confidence is high in the squad after victories against England and Thailand," said Danish coach Steen Pedersen. "Tomorrow is a must-win match." – Agencies
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