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|Thursday, May 31, 2001, updated at 16:02(GMT+8)|
China Beat South Korea to Face Denmark in Sudirman Cup Semifinals
South Korea will fight for the other final berth with Indonesia, who should thank the absence of Denmark's top singles players Peter Gade and Canmilla Martin more than their own performance.
China, bidding for their fourth successive Cup champion, met no trouble in the rout of their Asian arch rival despite resting their two Olympic champions since the two sides had both qualified for the semifinals after Tuesday's competition.
Zhang Jun and Gao Ling, mixed doubles Olympic gold medalist in Sydney, parted temporarily as Gao paired with Liu Yong to beat Kim Dong Moon/Ra Kyung Min 8-15, 17-14, 15-4 to give China a 1-0 lead.
World number two Zhou Mi, in the place of Olympic champion Gong Zhichao, played her first match here and defeated Jun Jae Youn 11- 5, 13-10, extending the lead for China to 2-0.
Chen Hong, ranked fourth in the world and runners-up in the All England Championships, put China in an unassailable 3-0 advantage beating Shon Seung Mo 15-8, 15-6 in the men's singles, raising speculations that whether he will still be China's top men's singles player, instead of Olympic champion Ji Xinpeng, to play on Friday's semifinals.
Zhang Jun, who missed the mixed doubles, then teamed up with Zhang Wei in the men's doubles to oust Ha Tae Kwon/Yoo Yong Sung 15-5, 15-13 and Huang Nanyan/Yang Wei beat Lee Kyung Won/Ra Kyung Min 11-15, 15-10, 15-8 in women's doubles.
"We made full preparation for the tie though we had qualified for the semifinals after yesterday's competition," said Liu Fengyan, manager of the Chinese national team. "Every one has done their utmost. We just want to show our full strength to the South Korean."
But a semifinal showdown with Denmark is not what Chinese head coach Li Yongbo has expected and wanted. "We prefer meeting Indonesia rather than Denmark, who we think stronger than Indonesia. We only enjoy upper hand in the women's doubles event over the Danes. As for the other four events, both sides share equal chances.
"But we are confident of winning a final berth, our goal is to win the champion so we do not care who is the rival. We must defeat every opponent in our way to the champion."
Indonesia may find a win will help them avoid the all- conquering three-time champion and make their semifinal fight easier. But Denmark proved a lot without Gade and Martin, managing two points from their women's number two Mette Sorensen and women' s tandem Ann-Lou Jorgensen and Mettee Shjoldager.
Suprianto Bambang and Minarti Timur, ranked fifth in the world, put Indonesia ahead by stunning world top-ranked mixed doubles pair Michael Sogaard/Rikke Olsen 15-11, 15-7. World number 15 Hendrawan fought back from one game down to defeat Gade's substitute and world 8th-ranked Anders Boesen 9-15, 15-2, 15-13 to make it 2-0.
Sorensen, ranked 16th in the world, pulled one point back for Denmark by beating Marfuah Yuli 9-11, 13-10, 11-6 before Budiarto Sigit/Flandi Limpele sealed the win for Indonesia in the men's doubles prevailing over Jens Eriksen/Jesper Larsen 10-15, 15-8, 15- 3.
Jorgensen and Schjoldager then beat Indarti Iswsolina and Deyana Lomban 15-3, 15-6 to score a consolation point in the women 's doubles.
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