China reign supreme to win Uber Cup title again


China team on the podium after winning the Uber Cup in Kunshan on Saturday. - CHAN BOON KAI / The Star

China team on the podium after winning the Uber Cup in Kunshan on Saturday. - CHAN BOON KAI / The Star

KUNSHAN (China): China claimed their 14th Uber Cup title with a 3-1 win over South Korea in the final at the Kunshan Sports Centre Gymnasium.

It was the host country’s third triumph in a row since 2012 and made up for the men’s disappointing quarter-final Thomas Cup exit where they were beaten 1-3 by South Korea on Thursday.

Reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui traded blows with Sung Ji-hyun in the first singles before winning 14-21, 21-13, 21-10.

However, Jung Kyung-eun-Shin Seung-chan ensured the final was not a one-sided affair by grinding out a 16-21, 21-17, 25-23 win over Tian Qing-Zhao Yunlei in 94 minutes to level the tie.

Former world number one Wang Shixian put China back on top with a 21-13, 21-12 win over Kim Hyo-min.

Scratch pair Chen Qingchen-Tang Yuanting clinched the winning point and the title when they recorded a 21-14, 21-16 win over Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee.

“It was crucial to get the first point for China. We knew the Koreans were tough to beat in the doubles, so I tried my best to beat my opponent for a good start,” said Xuerui.

“There was pressure for me as this was the final. But I have a very good record against my opponent, so I knew I have a good chance going into the rubber game.”