THE decline of the Chinese national badminton team is becoming more obvious now.
After a slide in the men and women’s singles, it’s the turn of their women’s doubles after their long domination at the World Championships ended.
For the first time since 1995, there will not be any Chinese winners after all their pairs were wiped out from the competition yesterday.
World No. 1 and defending champions Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (pic), the last Chinese pair left in the fray, were beaten by Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu 21-23, 21-23 in the last eight at the Youth Olympic Sports Park Arena yesterday.
Their compatriots Du Yue-Li Yinhui and Huang Yaqiong-Yu Xiaohan were eliminated in the third round on Thursday.
That summed up their worse-ever display at the world meet since Copenhagen in 1983, where they never failed to qualify for at least the semi-finals.
When asked whether their results were a step backward, Yifan was philosophical.
“When you’re improving your game, you can’t stop your opponents from improving as well,” she said
The Chinese ruled the men’s singles since 2006 before that ended in Glasgow last year by Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen while their dominance in the women’s singles since 2001 was ended by Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in Guangzhou in 2013. China have failed to win back the men’s and women’s singles titles since.