(Reuters) - China beat South Korea 3-1 in the final to maintain their Uber Cup hegemony, claiming the biennial women’s badminton team championship for the 14th time in front of their home crowd in Kunshan on Saturday.
Olympic champion Li Xuerui and former world number one Wang Shixian won their singles matches before Cheng Qingchen partnered Tang Yuanting to clinch the second doubles and secure China’s third successive Uber Cup triumph.
The victory was all the sweeter for the home fans who had earlier watched their men’s team being knocked out by Korea in the Thomas Cup semi-finals.
Li suffered an early setback when Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun took the first game in 16 minutes.
The local favorite quickly drew level, however, and sealed her 14-21 21-13 21-10 victory with a deft shot which died on the advancing Hyun.
For 2010 champions Korea, Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan pulled off a massive upset by beating China’s Olympic champions Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei 16-21 21-17 25-23.
Wang restored China’s advantage with a clinical 21-13 21-12 demolition of Kim Hyo Min before the talented 18-year-old Cheng and her partner Tang, 21, sealed the title with a 21-14 21-16 win.
In Sunday’s Thomas Cup final, Denmark will be hoping to land the prestigious men’s team title for the first time when they take on 13-times champions Indonesia.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Ed Osmond