Sunday, May 16, 2010

China wins and set to shine in Olympics

China white-washed Indonesia 3-0 in a smouldering yet fiery performance in the Thomas Cup finals at Putra Stadium, Sunday. The defending champions stamped its mark of supremacy to keep the coveted men's team trophy at home for the eight time, four in the row since 2004.

The top seeds sealed their victory through their third singles Chen Jin who defeated Simon Santoso after Lin Dan and Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng gave a comfortable 2-0 tie lead.

The much-anticipated epic battle between Beijing Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan and Athens Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat was an anti-climax as the Indonesian failed to match the Chinese's speed and net play.

World No. 2 Lin Dan took 60 minutes to tame world number five, Taufik, 21-7, 21-14. In the first set, Taufik just followed Lin Dan's tempo, trailing 1-5, 2-11, 7-20 and a drop shot by the Chinese concluded the set for 7-21. In the second set, Lin Dan was leading 9-6 and 14-11. Taufik tried to crawl back but it was too late. The Chinese sealed it with 21-14.

"Both of us were trying very hard to win our game, to open the path for others in the squad," said Lin Dan.

Taufik said he tried to open up the match but Lin Dan was simply too strong.

Lin Dan's victory was a shot-in-the-arm for the Chinese first doubles, Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng who edged Indonesia's top duo, Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan 25-23, 16-21, 21-12 in 59 minutes.

The Chinese duo however, were given a run for the money when the Indonesian pairs managed to steal a set.

As the Chinese were leading comfortably in the first set, 5-1, 11-7, the Indonesian crawled back and managed to level the tie for 22-22 but their unforced errors caused Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng to seal a victory.

In the second set, the Indonesian duo were leading all the way and sealed it 21-16.

After a two-minute breather, the Chinese pair came back stronger in the rubber set, leading all the way to conclude the match at 21-12.

While Markis said both he and his partner lost steam, especially in the rubber match, Cai Yun said the Indonesian pair were hard to fight because both teams deployed similar tactics.

World number three singles, Chen Jin justified his seeding, beating world number 12, Simon Santoso 19-21, 21-17, 21-7 in 73 minutes. In the rubber-match, the Indonesian was out of steam, trailing 3-11, 5-15, 7-19 before Chen Jin added another two points to seal China's victory.

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