LONDON (Reuters) - England pulled off a 4-1 win over South Korea on the second day of group play in the Thomas Cup men’s badminton tournament in Jakarta on Monday but the victory was gained against a “musical chairs” Korean team.
In a tactical ploy ahead of the later stages of the eight-day event, the Koreans fielded their singles players in the doubles matches and their doubles pairings in the singles.
They duly lost and South Korean team manager Kim Jong-soo acknowledged the ploy, telling the Chinese Xinhua news agency: “Since the beginning our strategy has always been to face Denmark in the quarter-finals, Indonesia in the semis and China in the final.”
Later in the day, the Koreans also went down 4-1 to Malaysia meaning they ended bottom of Group B. Under the structure of the tournament they now face an easy playoff against Canada on Tuesday to clinch a quarter-final place against Denmark.
Kim told Xinhua: “We prefer to face Denmark in the quarters-finals because we are confident we can beat them.”
Holders China are safely through to the quarters after thrashing Canada 5-0 as are hosts Indonesia who beat Germany by the same score.
In the women’s Uber Cup, the Chinese, bidding for a sixth consecutive title in the biennial tournament, reached the last eight with a 4-1 win over Germany.
Writing by Dave Thompson; editing by Miles Evans