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China and Japan dominate Asian qualifiers

The Chinese men’s and women’s badminton teams will face Japan in the finals of the Thomas and Uber Cups qualifiers in Macau following straight forward semi-final victories on Friday.

In the Thomas Cup, China thrashed Indonesia 3-0 while Japan defeated a weakened Malaysian team, who rested world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei (right), and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, by the same score.

All four teams had already booked their tickets to the Finals in Wuhan, China from May 20-27. They will be joined by the fifth placed team from the qualifiers.

South Korea, Thailand, India and Taipei are in the running for the final slot and in the opening matches for the 5th-8th placing, South Korea and Thailand registered 3-2 wins over India and Taipei.

In the Uber Cup, China thrashed Taipei 3-0 while Japan edged Thailand 3-2. All four have also qualified for the Finals which will be held simultaneously as the Thomas Cup.

A fifth team could also qualify, but only if they are ranked higher than the team who finish fourth in the European qualifiers, which are being held in Amsterdam.

Former champions Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong are all in the running to finish fifth.

Japan had to comeback from the brink of defeat against Thailand before booking their place in the final.

The Thais opted to play Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the singles and doubles as they wanted to ensure that all three singles matches would be played first, knowing full well the two Japanese pairs of Mami Naito-Shizuka Matsuo and Miyuki Maeda-Satoko Suetsuna (below), were too strong for their pairs.

The ploy nearly worked as Inthanon Ratchanok and Porntip Buranaprasertsuk gave them a 2-0 lead by beating Eriko Hirose and Ai Goto 16-21, 21-17, 21-17, and 21-14, 22-20, respectively.

Sapsiree, however, was stunned by Minatsu Mitani, who won 21-15, 19-21, 21-16, to give Japan hope.

Naito-Matsuo levelled the score with a 21-17, 21-11 victory over Saralee Thoungthongkam-Kunchala Voravichitchaiku while Maeda-Suetsuna delivered the winning point after beating Savitree Amitrapai-Sapsiree Taerattanachai 17-21, 9-21.

The Chinese women, meanwhile, had no problem disposing of Taipei with Jiang Yanjiao, Li Xuerui and Zhao Yunlei-Tian Qing all winning in straight games.

Jiang Yanjiao defeated Tai Tzu Ying 21-12, 21-15, to give China the lead while Zhao Yunlei-Tian Qing outclassed Cheng Wen Hsing-Chien Yu Chin 21-13, 21-13, before Li Xuerui clinched victory with a 21-19, 24-22 win over Pai Hsiao Ma.

For full results, click here.

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