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China, South Korea set up repeat final

China have the perfect chance for revenge on Saturday after they and defending champions South Korea reached the Uber Cup title decider with comfortable semi-final victories.

South Korea, who stunned the mighty Chinese girls 3-1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, two years ago to win the title for the first time in history, crushed Japan 3-0 while the hosts hammered Thailand by the same margin.

Two years ago, Wang Yihan (right), suffered a surprised defeat in the opening singles as China failed in their bid to win the Uber Cup for a 12th time.

Since that loss Wang Yihan has improved by leaps and bounds and is the reigning world champion and world No. 1.

After beating three-time world junior champion Inthanon Ratchanok 21-18, 21-15, she said: “We've prepared two years for the Uber Cup and we want this trophy more than anything else.

“My performance was so-so. The competition was very fierce. It is half a year since we last played each other and she has some new features in her game I am not familiar with.”

World champions Yu Yang-Wang Xiaoli then made it 2-0 with a comprehensive 21-16, 21-12 victory over Duanganong Aroonkesorn-Kunchala Voravichitchaikul before former world No. 1 Wang Xin thrashed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-17, 21-2.

Despite their loss, the Thais have much to be proud of as they were among the youngest teams in the Citroen BWF Thomas and Uber Cups Finals and this was their first ever appearance in a semi-final in either competition.

Earlier, South Korea cruised into the final when they defeated a visibly tired Japanese team, who only finished playing their quarter-final tie against Indonesia in the early hours of the morning.

“It’ would have been better if we can compete in the night or have one day to rest,” said Japanese head coach Park Joo Bong (above). “The tight schedule made it tough for us and South Korea. It's unfair.”

Sung Ji Hyun (below), who stunned Wang Yihan in the World Superseries Finals five months ago, defeated Sayaka Sato 21-15, 21-10 to give her country a great start.

“I have to be confident and patient against Wang (Yihan) if I play her in the final. I must not fight too hard or I will lose,” said Ji Hyun.

Kim Min Jung Kim-Ha Jung Eun suffered a scare against Reika Kakiiwa-Mizuki Fujii before edging a tight contest 21-13, 17-21, 21-14.

Bae Youn Joo then clinched the winning point by beating Eriko Hirose 21-15, 21-17.

For full results, click here.

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