Saturday, 24 May 2014 | MYT 9:00 PM

China beat Japan 3-1 for Uber Cup (updated)

China's shuttlers hoist the Uber Cup after beating Japan 3-1 in the final on May 24, 2014.

China's shuttlers hoist the Uber Cup after beating Japan 3-1 in the final on May 24, 2014.

NEW DELHI: China continued to set the benchmark for women’s badminton after marching to their 13th Uber Cup title with a 3-1 win over Japan at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium.

On Saturday, China conceded the first point in this year's competition after losing the first doubles but met little resistance elsewhere as they triumphed for the 13th time in 16 consecutive final appearances.

Reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui was too powerful for Minatsu Mitani, taking only 36 minutes to win 21-15, 21-5.

Japan’s first doubles pair Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi, ranked fourth in the world, halted the Chinese advance temporarily with aggressive play to beat Bao Yixin-Tang Jinhua 21-18, 21-9.

It was a well-deserved win for the Japanese pair over world No. 2 Yixin-Jinhua.

However, China restored the advantage quickly with reigning Asian Games champion Wang Shixian taking out Sayaka Takahashi 21-16, 21-12.

China’s second doubles pairing of Zhao Yunlei-Wang Xiaoli then dominated Miyuki Maeda-Reika Kakiiwa 21-13, 21-6 for the winning point as their team-mates rushed over for a rare court-side celebration.

Despite losing, Japan can still hold their heads up high after making their first appearance in the final after 33 years.

Japan lifted the Uber Cup five times between 1966 and 1981 before China began their domination of women’s badminton.

Veteran Maeda said it was difficult for Japan to recover after they were stretched by India in their semi-final victory on Friday.

Maeda-Kakiiwa claimed the winning point for Japan in their come-from-behind 3-2 win over India.

“We knew it would be tough playing against China. Your defensive game has to be very good and you also have to be able to attack strongly if you want to beat them. But playing like this makes you feel tired very fast.”

Tags / Keywords: badminton , Uber Cup , Li Xuerui , Wang Shixian


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