Qingdao (China): Denmark will challenge China as the best all-round team in badminton after both progressed into the Sudirman Cup final on Saturday by recording identical 3-1 semifinal wins. While China held off Korea after running into brief spells of trouble, Denmark had no problems in disposing off an under-strength Indonesia.
With Korea’s formidable depth in doubles, they were expected to run China close, but the defending champions shut them out by edging through in the first match, the mixed doubles. Xu Chen and Ma Jin won a three-game thriller over Ko Sung Hyun and Ha Jung Eun 21-23 21-14 24-22. Triple world champion Lin Dan destroyed Park Sung Hwan in the men’s singles, but Korea pulled one back through Lee Yong Dae/ Jung Jae Sung over Cai Yun/ Fu Haifeng. Korea would’ve fancied their chances in the women’s singles, but Bae Youn Joo fared miserably against the world No.1 Wang Shixian, in 21-15 21-12 loss.
The pattern was replicated exactly in the second semifinal. Denmark won the mixed doubles and the men’s singles, but lost the men’s doubles. Two-time All England champ Tine Baun made things safe for Denmark with a 21-13 21-13 decimation of Adriyanti Firdasari.
Results (semifinals): China bt Korea 3-1 (XD: Xu Chen/ Ma Jin bt Ko Sung Hyun/ Ha Jung Eun 21-23 21-14 24-22; MS: Lin Dan bt Park SH 21-16 21-10; MD: Cai Yun/ Fu Haifeng lost to Lee YD/ Jung JS 19-21 21-16 21-14; WS: Wang Shixian bt Bae Youn Joo 21-15 21-12
Denmark bt Indonesia 3-1 (XD: JF Nielsen/ C Pedersen bt Fran Kurniawan/ Pia Zebediah 15-21 21-11 21-13; MS: Peter Gade bt Simon Santoso 21-18 21-16; MD: C Mogensen/ M Boe lost to Alvent Yulianto/ Mohd Ahsan 23-21 21-17; WS: Tine Baun bt Adriyanti 21-13 21-13)