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China beat South Korea to retain Thomas Cup

May 19, 2008 07:36 IST

China beat South Korea 3-1 on Sunday to win the Thomas Cup men's badminton team title for the third time in a row.

World number one Lin Dan put the Chinese on the road to victory with a tight opening singles win against Park Sung-hwan and said he hoped the victory would spur him to Olympic gold in front of his home fans in Beijing in August.

"I'm not assuming I will win the gold medal. There are many players who are capable of challenging me," he told reporters, citing defending Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia as one of his main threats.

"I knew it was very important for me to win the first game. Park played very well."

Lin opened China's account with a hard-fought 10-21, 21-18, 21-8 over Park.

South Korea's doubles pair of Jung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae overcame Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng 25-23, 21-16 to draw level before Bao Chunlai restored China's advantage by beating Lee Hyun-il 28-26, 21-11.

Xie Zhongbo and Gus Zhendong sealed the victory for the Chinese, defeating Lee Jae-jin and Hwang Ji-man 21-12, 19-21, 21-12.

South Korea had made it to the final for the first time in the competition's 60-year history by beating 13-times winners Indonesia 3-0 in the semi-final.

China won the Uber Cup women's title for the sixth consecutive time on Saturday after beating Indonesia 3-0.

Bao said he managed to stay focus in the protracted first set against Lee.

"I had expected the match to be close. I'm glad I was able to sustain my game," he said.

South Korean manager Kim Jong Soo said he was satisfied with the result.

"We played well. I guess China was a better team today," he said. "Our players made their best efforts. I'm just happy we made it to the final," he added.

Before the final matches, players observed a moment of silence to remember the victims of a massive earthquake in the Chinese region of Sichuan that killed more than 30,000 people.

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