Badminton Life

China Triumphs at the Uber Cup

Although hosting an international sporting event ensures your team can stay at home and rely on the support of the majority of fans at the venues, this is no guarantee of sporting success.

The mark of a truly great team is one that is capable of playing in hostile environments and taking on the hopes of the fans and managing to triumph in the face of all adversity. Indonesia, the host of the Uber Cup, and its sporting fans would have had great hopes that their team would be able to triumph in the final but to do so, they would have to beat China. China were the reigning Uber Cup holders and are easily one of the more formidable teams in the world of female badminton today.

Host nation hopes may have been dashed but it would be hard to find any observer who would say that China did not deserve their 3-0 triumph to retain the Uber Cup. Xie Xingfang got the Chinese team off to a tremendous start by managing to obtain a convincing and simple win. A score of 21-8, 21-15 was a true reflection of her dominance and this laid the ground work for China to successfully defend their trophy.

Up next was a doubles match where Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen were facing Indonesian duo Lilyana Natsir and Vita Marissa. In a far tighter match, the Indonesian team won the first set and the crowd were roaring on what they hoped would be a comeback to level the overall match. This wasn't to be as Wei and Jiewen bounced back to record a 21-15, 19-21, 12-16 victory. With the Chinese now 2-0 up, their confidence was extremely high and it would have taken a brave person to predict that they would not triumph.

The second singles match of the tie proved to be the deciding one and again, the margin of victory was emphatic. Lu Lan knew that if she won then China had yet again clinched victory in the Uber Cup and she quickly set about demolishing her opponent. Pia Zebadiah had no response to the onslaught and the 21-12, 21-10 triumph let the Chinese stars bask in the glory of yet another triumph.

China have now lifted the Uber Cup an unprecedented eleven times with their nearest rivals Japan, lagging behind on 5 victories. Indonesia, the defeated finalists have won the event a total of three times, the same amount as the United States of America.

This level of dominance yet again reminded the world of badminton how strong the female Chinese players and all eyes will be on them in the Beijing Olympics. There will obviously be immense pressure on the Chinese team to triumph in their own country in an event they are favourites for but it will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure.

However, thoughts about the Olympics can wait until nearer the time and for now, the Chinese badminton players should be allowed to take some time and be proud of their achievements at the Uber Cup.

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