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China vows to regain Uber Cup

(Xinhua)

10:49, April 19, 2012

QINGDAO, China, April 18 (Xinhua) -- With 100 days to go before the London Olympic Games, Chinese badminton team has another mission to complete, regaining the Uber Cup that was lost two years ago.

Two years ago, the Chinese team, featuring seven Uber Cup debutants in the 10-player squad, surrendered the title for the first time since 1998 with a surprising 3-1 loss to South Korea.

Chinese shuttlers are still impressed with the failure. At the on-going Asia Championships, both world champions Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian expressed their determination to regain the Uber Cup, to be held in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China next month.

Wang Yihan has a bitter memory at the Uber Cup two years ago, losing the first singles' match and giving South Korean opponents a morale opening point.

"To me that failure really impressed a lot, but I think now it is mindset that counts," said Wang. The 24-year-old suffered a downturn after the 2010 Uber Cup and even didn't make appearance at last year's Sudirman Cup.

However, Wang Yihan announced her comeback by crowning the world champion last year. "We have lost the Uber Cup, then we should take it back," said the women's singles world No. 1, who beat Japan's Eriko Hirose 21-13, 21-18 in Wednesday's first round of women's singles at Asia Championships.

Wang Shixian witnessed the Uber Cup failure at stands, but she was still determined to help China regain the Uber Cup.

"One of this year's top priorities is the Uber Cup," said Wang Shixian, according to whom the Chinese team will train in Qingdao, a city in Shandong Province of China, till the start of Uber Cup.

Wang Shixian, world No. 3, also suffered from team event as the 22-year-old was stunned in the opening match of China at last year's Sudirman Cup.

Influenced by the setback at Sudirman Cup, Wang Shixian encountered low tides, while her world ranking fell from top place to the third.

"I didn't play well in the second half of last year as I was irritable and sometimes a bit negative on the court, but this year I gradually found back the form."

Wang Shixian met hard resistance from unheralded Hsiao Ma Pai from Chinese Taipei before winning the tough encounter 24-22, 21-14 in nearly one hour.

"Now when I lag behind, I'm stable to pull back the score," added Wang, "During the training, I hope to find my best form as soon as possible."

In the Uber Cup, China is in group A along with Indonesia and England. Chinese head coach Li Yongbo indicated that China would spare no efforts to fight for the title.

"Losing the Uber Cup two years ago is our permanent grief, which was made by ourselves. The self-conceited troops are destined to fail, so we will prepare carefully for the coming Uber Cup," said Li.

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