South Korea to Play China in Thomas Cup Final
Wuhan, China. South Korea ensured badminton great Peter Gade will end his career without winning the Thomas Cup by beating Denmark 3-1 on Friday to meet four-time defending champion China in the final.
China dispatched Japan 3-0 in the other semifinal to have a shot on Sunday at a fifth successive men’s title, and tying the record of Indonesia from 1994 to 2002.
The final will be only the second for South Korea — it also lost in 2008 to China.
“It will be a difficult tie,” South Korea’s Shon Wan-ho said. “China is so strong and everybody knows about it … and we really have to try our best.”
Gade, who will be retiring after the Olympics, couldn’t give Denmark an opening win when he lost to another former world No. 1, Lee Hyun-il, 17-21, 21-14, 21-10.
“Because we know each other so well, it was difficult for me to find the rhythm in the first game,” Lee said. “After I picked up a little bit in the second game I think I was ready for the victory.”
Gade, who led Denmark to the final three times in the past 16 years, said he was disappointed with the outcome.
“I did what I could, but he (Lee) was too good in the last two games,” he said.
Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe beat Yoo Yeon-seong and Ko Sung-hyun 21-10, 21-12 to tie the score, but Shon defeated Jan O’Jorgensen 21-13, 14-21, 21-16, and Lee Yong-dae clinched the tie for South Korea with an 11-21, 21-19, 21-15 win over Joachim Fischer Nielsen.
China, led by Lin Dan, did not concede a game to Japan in winning both singles and the doubles.
Lin was given a good run by Sho Sasaki before winning 23-21, 21-17, and top-ranked Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng prevailed over Sato Shoji and Naoki Kawamae 25-23, 21-18.
Chen Long then sealed the semifinal with a clinical 21-13, 21-16 win over Kenichi Tago.
In five matches, China has dropped only two games.
The women’s final on Saturday also features South Korea and China.