WORLD TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: CHINA REIGNS SUPREME
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May 24, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - China turned back Korea in today's
championship fixture of the badminton world team championships, known as the
Sudirman Cup competition, in Glasgow, Scotland to retain the title it won
in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1995.
With a largely pro-Chinese audience waving large and small Chinese flags and
shouting "Chung-guo cha-yo" ("let's go, China"), the Chinese team won the
first three matches of the fixture to clinch the victory.
Liu Yong and Ge Fei were first up for China in the mixed doubles match. Liu
and Ge faced off against Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min. Kim and Ra had
defeated Liu and Ge earlier in the week when China played Korea in the group
Liu and Ge were better prepared today to do battle against the powerful
smashes of Kim and the net play of Ra.
From the outset, Liu and Ge kept their clears and lifts away from Kim,
preventing the Korean from using his power strokes to advantage. Liu was also
more patient today, keeping the rallies and blocks flat until they could
induce a lift and then tantalizing the Koreans with delicate jump dropshot
after jump dropshot before unleashing a jumpsmash.
Liu and Ge's tactics gave them a 12-6 lead in the first game. A Liu kill
after Ge's net-net combination had set up a loose shot from the Koreans
gave the Chinese the important thirteenth point. Liu's crosscourt drive at
Ra after she had saved a kill attempt by Ge Fei brought the Chinese a game
The Koreans saved one game point when Ge made an error at the net. Ra saved
another one with a round-the-head push shot at the net.
The Koreans scored a point on their service turn, but a combination of Liu
smashes and kills finished off by a kill from Ge took away the Korean first
serve. On the next rally, the Koreans lost the serve when Liu put the shuttle
on the floor with a backhand kill in Kim's direction.
The Koreans saved another game point when Kim smashed Ge's flick serve. On
the next serve, Liu to Ra, Liu struck a flat push towards Ra. Ra tried to
counter with a push of her own to an open spot crosscourt but her stroke had
too much behind it and the shuttle went wide, giving Liu and Ge the game at
In the second, Liu and Ge roared off to a 4-0 lead before the Koreans could
score. The Chinese increased their lead to 9-1 before a Liu net error gave
the Koreans a second point.
The Koreans slowly came back 5-9 on several Chinese errors. Liu set up a
kill by Ge with a combination of drops and smashes to end the Korean serve.
Another Liu smash combination set up another Ge kill at the net to get the
Chinese a 10-5 lead. The Chinese increased their lead to 12-5 before Kim got
a Korean point with a crosscourt drive. A series of Kim smashes broke through
the Chinese defense to move the Korean score to 7.
Then excellent defending by Kim on Liu's smash attack gave the Koreans point
number 8 with Kim blocking a smash crosscourt into an open spot.
That was the end of the Korean scoring. The Chinese bore down with smash and
kill combinations to gain a match point at 14-8.
Liu ended the match with another series of jump smashes with the last one
eluding Ra's defense.
The mixed doubles scoreline: 15-7 and 15-8.
Dong Jiong then faced off against Korea's Park Sung Woo in the men's singles
The two exchanged several scoreless service turns before Dong scored on a
Park kept pace with Dong for several points. At 3-all, Dong began to pull
ahead. A Dong smash after he had defended against Park's attack and forced
Park to clear gave Dong his fourth point.
Dong stretched his lead to 8-3 with a rally-ending deceptive crosscourt
netshot that froze Park.
Several Dong miscues brought Park closer at 8-6. But Dong scored on good
defense, blocking Park's smash attempt for a point. Another deceptive
backhand crosscourt netshot gave Dong his tenth point.
Dong built up more of a lead getting to 13-8 when he pressured Park into a
round-the-head dropshot into the net. Park stopped Dong's string when he got
Dong to strike a backhand clear which he then pounded crosscourt.
A Dong jumpsmash into the net after an exhange of clears and netshots gave
Park his ninth point.
The two exchanged scoreless service turns several times. Dong finally scored
his fourteenth using a dropshot to induce a Park lift and then striking a
crosscourt jumpsmash for the point.
Dong tallied the game winner when Park struck a tight net shot that Dong
replied to with a sudden twist of the wrist to send the shuttle skimming
the net crosscourt.
Park played Dong tougher in the second game, taking advantage of Dong's
errors to race to a 5-0 then 8-1 leads.
Dong climbed back into the game slowly. A Dong smash after the two had sent
the shuttle flying back and forth in a rally gave Dong point number two. In
the next exchange, Dong hit an attacking clear that landed inbounds.
The two exchanged service turns, each ending the other's scoring chance with
drives or smashes. Another Dong attacking clear that landed in gave Dong
point number four.
After another series of scoreless service turns, Dong scored on a
smash-and-kill combination. Points continued to be difficult to get as the two
would fight off the other's scoring chances.
Dong scored another point when Park misjudged a Dong lift and let the
shuttle land in-bounds. Dong was only two point behind at 6-8.
Again the two exchanged scoreless service turns. Park then tallied a point
on a Dong net error.
After Dong scored on a Park backhand miscue, Park pulled away to an 11-7
lead on several Dong errors. Dong gained a point back after his tight net shot
forced Park into a lift which Dong then pounded for a score. A backhand
crosscourt netshot by Dong gave him his ninth point.
A net miscue by Dong gave Park back the service. Dong countered and got the
service back with a tight netshot to force Park into a net error.
Park tried a smash attack on Dong but Dong defended well and scored on a
push shot away from Park.
After another series of scoreless service turns, Dong moved Park around the
court and forced Park into an off-balance squash-type shot. Dong smashed the
shuttle to gain an 11-all tie.
Dong moved ahead 12-11 on a round-the-head smash to Park's body. On the next
rally, Dong turned back a Park attack with good defense and then unloaded a
smash combination that ended when a Park block sent the shuttle out of bounds.
Park then tried to engage Dong in a net exchange but Dong answered a Park
net shot with a scoring crosscourt drive to bring him to match point.
After a short exchange, Dong induced a loose shot from Park. Dong then
pounced for the match-winning killshot.
The men's singles scoreline: 15-9 and 15-11 for Dong.
China was now ahead in the fixture 2 matches to none.
The third match was the women's singles: Gong Zhichao of China, the world
number two, versus Lee Joo Hyun.
The first game was an easy win for Gong as Lee could not read Gong's
deceptive slice drops. Gong used rallying play to soften up Lee and then
she would strike a winner, usually the slice drop to either front corner.
Gong won the first 11-2.
In the second game, Gong started by losing the serve on a net miscue after
the two had engaged in a rally. Another miscue by Gong put Lee a point up.
Gong's errors gave Lee a 6-3 lead. Lee added to her advantage when she ended
a rally with a crosscourt smash. The Korean then lost the serve when she hit
a smash into the net.
Gong started to move Lee around with dynamic rallying. Lee tried to end the
rally with a crosscourt shot but her attempt went wide to put the score at 7-4,
Lee still ahead.
The two swapped service turns. Another dynamic all-court rally by Gong
pressured Lee into a dropshot into the net. Gong was closing in, with the
score at 5-7.
In the next exchange, a tired-looking Lee struck a clear that went wide,
putting Gong only a point behind at 6-7. A scoring crosscourt halfsmash and
Gong was on even footing 7-all.
Gong again engaged the tiring Lee in an all-court rally that ended when Lee
allowed a Gong attack clear to land without a reply. Gong was now ahead 8-7.
Gong's dropshot in the next exchange induced Lee into a miscue at the net.
Gong was now only two points away from the victory.
Another dynamic rally forced Lee into an attacking clear that went out-of-
bounds. Gong was now at match point 10-7.
Gong did not waste the opportunity. She set up Lee with another all-court
rally and then uncorked a dropshot that won the team championship for China.
The women's singles scoreline: 11-2 and 11-7 for Gong.
China had clinched the title at this point and the pro-Chinese audience
erupted into cheers of "Chung-guo kuang-jin" ("China - champion").
The meaningless men's doubles and women's doubles matches were played after
the Chinese celebration had quieted down.
Chen Xingdong and Lin Liwen of China defeated a half-hearted Korean pair of
Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin 15-7 and 15-2 in the men's doubles, and the
Chinese women's doubles pair of Ge Fei and Gu Jun bested Kim Shin Young and
Ra Kyung Min 15-7 and 15-10.
The final tally in the championship fixture: 5 matches to none in favor of
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