Sun, May 18, 2008 - Page 20 News List

China defeat Indonesia 3-0 to win the Uber Cup

AFP , JAKARTA

China's Xie Xingfang returns the shuttlecock during her Uber Cup final singles match against Maria Kristin of Indonesia in Jakarta yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Invincible China clinched their sixth consecutive Uber Cup team championship yesterday, toppling Indonesia 3-0 to send an ominous warning ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

The result was widely expected, with the revitalized Indonesian women, a former world force, in their first final for 10 years.

But with the Indonesian men unexpectedly dumped from the Thomas Cup on Friday by South Korea, national expectations were high.

Such was the interest that Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono turned up to watch the match, only to leave disappointed.

World No. 1 Xie Xingfang quickly hammered home the reality with an easy 21-8, 21-15 victory over Indonesia’s top player, Maria Kristin, keeping her cool in front of a full and deafening Bung Karno Sports Hall.

The world’s top doubles team, Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen, had a point to prove after losing their match in the semi-finals and they got the better of Lilyana Natsir and Vita Marissa, but it was not easy.

Natsir and Marissa bounced back after losing the first set to take the second and pushed hard in the third. However, the Chinese pair’s experience eventually paid off at the crunch and they eventually won the nail-biter 21-15, 19-21, 21-16.

In an indication of who might win the race to be China’s third singles player at the Olympics after Xie and the injured Zhang Ning, Lu Lan was entrusted with the third rubber ahead of Zhu Lin.

She went on to justify her selection, thumping Adriyanti Firdasari 21-12, 21-10 to hand China their 11th Uber Cup crown in 13 attempts. best against Kristin.

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