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Chinese shuttlers claim 4th straight Sudirman Cup

QINGDAO, China - China was crowned the Sudirman Cup world mixed team badminton champion for the fourth straight time by cruising past Denmark 3-0 here on Sunday.

It is China's second fourth straight win at Sudirman Cup as the powerhouse had achieved it between 1995-2001.

"I am very proud of my players. We encountered some difficulties at the very beginning of the championship, but we managed to overcome it," said Chinese head coach Li Yongbo, whose team only lost two women's singles' matches en route to champions.

 

Denmark qualified for only their second ever Sudirman Cup final. In their first final in 1999, they were defeated by China 3-1, and this time they failed to avenge.

Xu Chen/Ma Jin met little challenge from their opponents Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen in the opening mixed doubles, putting China ahead with a victory of 21-14, 21-14.

The Chinese duo, only paired three months ago, was also instrumental in China's 3-1 win over South Korea on Saturday's semifinal as they saved four match points in the decider to defeat Ko Sung Hyun/Ha Jung Eun 21-23, 21-14, 24-22.

"Yesterday's match gave us lots of confidence and we were comparatively relaxed today after that tough competition," said Xu Chen.

Olympic and three-time world champion Lin Dan dominated the men's singles by beating veteran Peter Gade 21-16, 21-11.

Twelve years ago, Gade was a fresh-faced 22-year-old when he suffered a 15-13, 15-13 loss to Sun Jun as China cruised to win the Cup. This time, the 34-year-old lost again, but gained respect, both from his opponent Lin and the crowd.

"Gade is my next aim," said the grand-slam winner Lin, "He is already 34-year-old, but I still have to give out everything to beat him."

Gade said he was to retire after the London Olympic Games, which means it is his last Sudirman Cup. Gade was satisfied with his performance, having outclassed all of his opponents except Lin.

"I really enjoy this week, the great spectators and the great competition," said the experienced.

Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng secured the win for China after pushing aside Carsten Mogensen/Jonas Rasmussen 21-17, 21-13.

In the second game, the scoreline went point for point amid thunderous cheers and applause from the spectators in Qingdao Stadium before Rasmussen's return hit into the net to end the match and ignited the passion of the crowd.

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