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Chi beat Indonesia, enter Sudirman Cup fil

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 May 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Dongguan, May 16: Favourites Chi team will take on either South Korea or Japan in the Sudirman Cup badminton fil following a 3-1 semifil victory over Indonesia here on Saturday. Chi, who have won five Sudirman Cups in a row since 2005, met some challenges in two doubles disciplines but controlled the momentum throughout. Now, the defending champions are only a step away from their sixth consecutive title of the World Mixed Team Championships.

Reigning Olympic champions Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng failed to take the lead for the hosts as the veteran pair lost the opening men’s doubles contest 16-21, 17-21 to World No.3 Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan.

Although Cai/Fu have no chance to compete in the Rio Olympics due to age and fatigue, they are still popular with Chinese fans, hailed as a combition of “Wind and Cloud”. “No regrets. This should be my last time to compete in Sudirman Cup. Now, every time when I pair with Fu Haifeng, it is a breakthrough for me,” added Cai.

Cai’s appearance in the opening game can be seen as a strategy for Chi. Fu Haifeng’s fixed partner in recent years is Zhang n and they have a better head-to-head record against the opponents. But Zhang still needs to pair with Zhao Yunlei in the last discipline of mixed doubles.

So it was not a surprise for Indonesia to lead 1-0 before a packed are composed of home fans at the Dongguan Sports Center. The followings are in the hands of the defending champions. Reigning Olympic women’s singles champion Li Xuerui trailed 3-5 to Bellaetrix Manuputty at first but an accidental injury to the visitor let the game finish after just seven minutes, bringing the two sides to a 1-1 draw.

After that World No.1 Chen Long gave Chi a 2-1 lead with a 21-10, 21-15 win over Christie Jotan in 48 minutes. IANS

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