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05-13-2002, 09:10 PM #1
NEWS : All signs point to China splitting their doubles
All signs point to China splitting their doubles
CHINA may split their doubles combinations in an attempt to boost their chances of beating South Korea in their final Thomas Cup Group A tie tonight.
The Koreans have two formidable combinations in Ha Tae-kwan-Kim Dong-moon and Lee Dong-soo-Yoo Yong-sung. And they are clear favourites to win their matches against China, whose established pairs are Zhang Jun-Zhang Wei and Cheng Rui-Wang Wei.
China will again bank on their singles prowess to get them three points to ensure them a safe passage into the semi-finals. The Koreans, who were beaten by Denmark, have to win by a 4-1 margin to advance.
Denmark are expected to whip Sweden in the other group match tonight and a Chinese victory over South Korea will give the Danes a place in the semi-finals.
Yesterday, the Chinese were trying different combinations among their five doubles players, including reserve Chen Qiqui, in a training session at the Tianhe Sports Centre. And it sparked more speculations on their strategy.
Zhang Wei played most of the mock matches with Chen Qiqui against Zhang Jun and either Wang Wei or Cheng Rui. Earlier, there had been talks that a split was needed to give them more bite in the second doubles against Dong-soo-Yong-sung.
Chinese chief coach Li Yongbo kept his cards close to his chest and said that the team would only be named after their training session this morning.
“Looking at the records of the meetings between China and South Korea, we are usually the winners. We should come out victorious again,” said Yongbo yesterday.
He admitted that their weak link was in the doubles but reiterated that they were superior in the singles.
“We have a good chance of winning, especially in the three singles. I don’t see their singles troubling us. In fact, I feel the media have given the Korean singles players more credit than they deserved,” said Yongbo.
China have a formidable singles line-up with four of the world’s top players, led by world number one Xia Xuanze. The others are Bao Chunlai, Lin Dan (pic) and Chen Hong. Veteran Lou Yigang complete the Chinese singles cast.
South Korea will be looking at Lee Hyun-il to rise to the occasion in the first singles. He beat Xuanze to win the Japan Open last month. But Hyun-il was off-form in his two matches in this Finals. He was beaten by Denmark’s Kenneth Jonassen and needed five games to beat Sweden’s Ramus Wengberg.
The other singles players South Korea will field against China are Shon Seung-mo and Park Tae-sang or Jang Young-soo.
05-13-2002, 11:45 PM #2
i must commend Li's thinking. there is no point fielding Z/Z against Kim/Ha, it is a losing battle, Kim/Ha will whip them quite easily. Li saw the weaker pair Lee/Yoo as the target and is pointing all arrows at them. if China snatches that one single point, they are almost for sure to grab that top spot in the semi and will delay their meeting with Indonesia till the final.
05-14-2002, 02:34 AM #3
Quite so. But forming a new pair and fielding them against a world top 5 pair, isn't that a BIT optimistic...?
But it won't matter, as the singles will bring the tie home to China anyway. Judging from the performance so far of the Chinese singles and the Koreans, there is just no way Korea is going to win any of them. And Yongbo says so too. So what is the gain? Why the meaningless "gamble" with the doubles? Well, the only explanation I see is that Yongbo is out to boost his own status... And him singing at the opening ceremony is entirely in line with this. He's got something up his sleeve, and I am pretty sure it has something to do with his own future.
05-14-2002, 02:53 AM #4
the way LYB puts it, the doubles are there to steal points and unload the burden of the singles. in other words, if they have it, great, there will be less weight on the shoulder of the single players. as i too believe that they aren't and are no where near invincible. so if they have any chance of snatching one point from the doubles, then why not.
the way we all see it, is that doubles are gonna lose. but if they shovel them around, perhaps there is more chance. the strength is definitely on the Z/Z pair. but they are bound to lose to K/H. so pull of them into the number 2 pair, and strengthen the 2nd doubles. that way, they have a little bit more chance to snatch something from Lee/Yoo. may be, as they say, it is 7 points game. anything can happen...
05-14-2002, 05:02 AM #5
If it works, I am sure we will soon see another hit single by LYB in the Chinese record stalls.
05-14-2002, 05:08 AM #6
hahahaha, i'm sensing that you are beginning to able to read the chinese habits, a very valuable skills to have as a national coach for any european country
05-14-2002, 06:50 AM #7
Whoa -- the match just started, and according to the score table the Chinese did split their doubles... But so did the Koreans! Kim is playing with Yoo and Ha with Lee! The Koreans must be in panic... what a gamble!
05-14-2002, 09:26 AM #8
I think Korea was had again.
More surprises in store in semis.
I think Ina has even more surprises ( provided Denmark doesn't con them).
It's like playing chess, but I don't think any t cp can be won solely on singles;
even in 1988 with YY,Zhao and Xiong the doubles could still take 2 points if required.
05-14-2002, 10:02 AM #9
It seems weird that both China and Korea are changing their doubles.. still.. it seems to me that none of them have been convincing against Denmark.. so maybe this is the punishment from the coaches?
05-14-2002, 10:03 AM #10
China takes it!!
I just seen the result.
China are leading 3-1 with the last match being played now.
Bao Chun Lai dropped at no.2 for Lin Dan. Lin seems the more consistent in terms of results against good players.
Which doubles combo won for China? Frankly, Korea seems to have been psyched out. Zhang Wei plus Chen Qiqiu - never thought of that pairing. I suspect Cheng Rui/Wang Wei might have been put out as a 'weak' first pair.
China must be going wild! - I'm going wild!!!!
05-14-2002, 10:10 AM #11
Thanks Cheung for the update.
The live scoring has been down to and fro during the day, and now it seems constantly down...
Denmark won 5-0 over Sweden, by the way.
So it seems we have China and Denmark from Group A through to the semis...
Please update here if you get newer results! (well at least until the official pages are back up)
Last edited by Mag; 05-14-2002 at 10:16 AM.
05-14-2002, 10:19 AM #12
Actually I just found the scores:
So this means that Li YongBo's gamble paid off, at least in one of the doubles!
05-14-2002, 10:26 AM #13
And if Cheung is excited, I can tell you all that I am equally excited..
OK, I must say that I did not really expect Denmark to have any difficulties with winning against Sweden.. but I was a little nervous that Korea might have a chance against China..
But then China even managed to win one of the doubles..
My hat is off for the Chinese team.. and I am pretty sure that they will be very hard to beat.. but I expect a final between China and Indonesia.. and that will be very, very interesting..
05-14-2002, 10:29 AM #14
just got up from bed. what a news!!
i still cannot get to the website. but great news! eager to find out what the scoreline was....
go. go China.
05-14-2002, 10:42 AM #15
so i read that it was the 2nd doubles who won.
it looks like the single players delivered, and that's LYB's gamble paid off. his idea was sound, there is nothing to lose, why not mix it up and try it?
i am starting to think that LYB is a genius. i wonder what kind of trick he is going to play when China faces Malaysia and Indonesia?
as for the Koreans, what the heck were they thinking? came to the TC with so much arrogance. i think they must have learned their lessons.
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