China to encounter South Korea in Thomas Cup group stage

14:15, May 08, 2010      

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China's top shuttler Lin Dan said Friday that it will be a tough match against South Korea before the reigning champions walk into the quarterfinals of the Thomas Cup with a good position. [ The Chinese badminton team, looking to their fourth straight win of the men's team title at the 26th edition of the Thomas Cup, was placed into the Group A together with Peru and South Korea, considered as one of the five champion contenders.

According to Lin, nick-named "Super Dan", the former world No. 1 and the Olympic champion in 2008, South Koreans have been long-time tough opponents.

"Every time we face South Korea, it came out to be tough," he said after a training session here at the Putra Stadium. "In order to defeat them, we always have to push ourselves hard, as they don't have an obviously weak point."

"Their top seed single Park Sung-hwan and second seed Shon Wan-ho are all in a high level and in a good form. Moreover, their doubles are equally strong. Therefore, we have to be really careful." Lin added.

South Korea's former No. 1 player Lee Hyun-il has been recruited as a third seed single for the tournament after retiring for one and a half years after finishing a fourth place at the Beijing Olympics 2008.

"I don't find it a surprise," said Lin. "He is a very good player and I think they want him back because he is still stronger than the young generation."

However, due to the lack of international competitions, Lee only plays as a third seed, which means he will face China's Bao Chunlai or Chen Long in the clash scheduled on May 11.

"Generally speaking, China is more stronger, which is for sure," said Li Mao, the Chinese coach of men's singles for South Korea. "However, we also have chances as our players are more relaxed and with a desire to win."

The open match of the Chinese Thomas Cup squad will be on Sunday against Peru.



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