Lee Hyun II Key to Victory in Thomas Cup, South Korea Coach Says


Xinhuanet 2002-05-14 15:47:39

GUANGZHOU, South China, May 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Looking for their
first ever Thomas Cup, South Korea laid their winning hopes with
leading singles player Lee Hyun II, the Korean head coach said
here Tuesday before their last group match against China later in
the evening at the prestigious World Team Badminton Championship.
Kim Jong Soo said: "We need a berth in the semi-finals first
and all of our chances lean on Lee Hyun II."
Lee, newly-reigned All-Japan Open men's singles champion, was
stunned by European Championships runner-up Kenneth Jonasson 7-5,
7-0, 4-7, 6-8, 7-3 and led to a 3-2 unexpected upset to his team.
Kim explained that Lee's defeat to the Danes was because of his
poor form.
"Lee has been in a low tide. If he can give us a good start
tonight, our chance of entering the last four is increased," the
Korean coach said. "He is the key to open the door of the semis
for us."
Kim Dong Moon/Ha Tae Kwan, former world doubles champion, and
teammates Lee Dong Soo/Yoo Yong Sung, had played the reliable
roles in their previous two matches against Denmark and Sweden.
"We are one hundred percent confident that our doubles can
crack the Chinese rivals. It will be perfect if any of our three
singles can win a match," Kim said.
South Korea needs a 4-1 victory over the hosts to reach the
semi-finals while a 3-2 narrow win can lead to a three-countries
panic, including Denmark, China and themselves, by counting on
their detailed scores of three group matches.
If they loss 2-3 to China, they will step out of the
competition for a third place in Group A. Only top two teams from
each group can enter the last four.