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05-20-2002, 02:56 PM #1
NEWS : All-powerful China hurts women's badminton
All-powerful China hurts women's badminton
GUANGZHOU - The dominance of China's masterful women badminton stars is so complete that some say it is in danger of killing off all interest in the sport.
The Chinese women swept to an emphatic third successive victory in the Uber Cup on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over South Korea.
The fact that the Korean shuttlers put up such an admirable fight was a pleasant surprise as fans were expecting the host to bulldoze its way to an eighth win in the eight-team event since 1984.
Coaches who arrived at Tianhe stadium threw up the white flag of surrender before the first shuttlecock was struck, expecting nothing less than a runaway win for Li Yongbo's star-studded squad.
Said Denmark's coach Steen Pedersen earlier in the week: 'Even the Chinese B or C teams would be favourites to win. But this is just about killing the game right now.
'Other countries need to make a big effort to close the gap on China - otherwise, it will get very boring.'
But which nation can challenge the undisputed badminton queens?
Former power Indonesia is in disarray following the retirement of Susi Susanti and the migration of Mia Audina Tjiptawan to Holland.
Said Indonesia's coach Christian Handanata: 'This year's team is not too strong. It is missing a leader to guide the younger stars but maybe in four or five years, we can be strong again.'
The Dutch team, bolstered by Audina and former Chinese star Yao Jie - who did not play in the Uber Cup due to a last-minute visa problem - will likely test the Chinese team's dominance in two years' time.
But Chinese coach Li said: 'I think, in the future, the biggest challenger to China will be Korea. Indonesia and Denmark will also be strong challengers.' --AFP
05-26-2002, 03:23 AM #2
It's quite unfortunate that Yao Jie and Mia are playing for Netherland, while Wang Chen is carrying HK's banner. If they can team up as one, their team will definitely be a real threat for China!
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