CHINA LEAGUE 2011 – Guo: “We’re too exhausted!”

Fu Haifeng and Shen Ye have been Qingdao’s only men’s doubles team since the very beginning of the China Badminton League, but they faced their first downfall as they collapsed […]

Fu Haifeng / Shen Ye (Qingdao) © China Foto Press

Fu Haifeng and Shen Ye have been Qingdao’s only men’s doubles team since the very beginning of the China Badminton League, but they faced their first downfall as they collapsed helplessly to Shanghai’s Guo Zhendong / Hong Wei in straight games.  This was not enough, however, to prevent Qingdao from claiming another victory and staying atop the league.

By Ooi Ee Lyn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: China Foto Press

Team Shanghai Zwick could have hoped for a better calendar in the league this year. Their first opponent in the second round-robin cycle was none other than Qingdao Beer, the #1 club after seven rounds in the first cycle. Shanghai was slapped with a 1-4 defeat by Qingdao and had to cope with their fifth consecutive loss in the league.

On Saturday, on Shanghai’s home court, their mighty opponents Qingdao started off on a high by winning the women’s doubles. Shanghai was pushed further towards the sides of the cliff as youngster Zhou Wenlong stunningly upset Chen Long in two sets of 21-14.

The both knew each other pretty well as they were teammates back in their days in the national B team, where they had trained under Coach Ji Xinpeng. Zhou Wenlong told, “I felt he wasn’t in a good form. He made lots of mistakes.

Chen Long, who had just returned from the All England, where he progressed into the semi-finals before bowing down to Lee Chong Wei, blamed his lack of stamina:  “It’s mainly about my stamina. I couldn’t move on court,” said Chen, expressing his tiredness that follows a long stretch of matches played.

Wang Xin (Qingdao) © China Foto Press

Shanghai probably saw a light of hope as the league’s unbeatable Fu Haifeng / Shen Ye failed to remain undefeated against Guo Zhendong / Hong Wei. “Chen Long’s defeat was an accident. We’re all very exhausted after returning from the All England. So am I, which is why I am not playing mixed doubles today,” hinted Guo.

Fu Haifeng also mentioned about the general tiredness in Team China: “I’m numbed. I’ve been playing matches numbly, all the travelling has made me so tired and I couldn’t stir up my spirit these days. In fact, my opponents were tired too. We just couldn’t bring up the atmosphere.

Wang Yihan getting better but greatly missed

In spite of having pulled the team from the corners of the cliff, Guo Zhendong knew they had to pray for a miracle to gain a victory from where they were. Shanghai was a point behind when their lady Zhu Lin had to face Wang Xin’s challenge. The team was told of how much they missed Wang Yihan – she was sidlined from tournaments after injuring her knee in the match against Hunan three weeks back – as Zhu Lin couldn’t stand long against Wang Xin (pictured), losing in two straight games with no miracles happening.

With a 3-1 victory fixed, Qingdao’s Shen Ye / Ma Jin stepped up to finish up the match by striking Hong Wei / Xie Jing without much sweat.

Regarding the  five consecutive losses, Shanghai’s head coach Jin Chen commented that the season was considerably a better one than last year’s: “Especially the structure of our team. We had indeed missed the chance to perform well in the first half of the round-robins, and Wang Yihan’s injury was a huge problem. With Zhu Lin arranged to go out for a tournament soon (in New Zealand), things will become harder for the team. I’ve talked to Wang Yihan on the phone two days ago. She’s getting well. I hope she’ll be back in time before Zhu Lin leaves for the tournament overseas,” he told

Complete results of March 19th:
Guangzhou 5 – 0 Bayi
Shanghai 1 – 4 Qingdao
Hunan 4 – 1 Wuhan
Jiangsu 2 – 3 Zhejiang

The next matches involving the China Badminton League’s eight clubs will be played on March 26th.

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About Ee-Lyn Ooi