SUDIRMAN CUP 2015 Day 3 – Chen seals deal for China & Germany

All but one quarter-finalist is known for the Vivo Sudirman Cup as China relied on current and former World Champions to clinch the win over Thailand and send China and […]

All but one quarter-finalist is known for the Vivo as China relied on current and former World Champions to clinch the win over Thailand and send China and Germany through from Group A.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)

Coming into Tuesday’s play, five Level 1 teams had mathematically clinched their quarter-final berths but it was also assumed that with China’s easy win over Thailand, China and Germany emerging from Group A was a done deal as soon as the Thais dropped their first tie.  That was before Thailand came out firing in the opening men’s doubles match.

Bodin Issara and Pakkawat Vilailak (pictured below) silenced the crowd as they got out to a one-game lead against reigning Olympic champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng.  The Chinese were not about to go down without a fight, though, and the two pairs ended up trading 21-14 games to send it to a decider.

Issara and Vilailak reversed an early Chinese lead in the deciding game with a six-point run and led almost all the way to the finish.  However, after some thrilling rallies that gave the Thais a tantalizing 19-16 lead, Cai/Fu’s experience suddenly became the dominant force and the Chinese pair scored the last five points to give China the one-match lead.

That was the brightest ray of hope for Thailand on the day, however.  Busanan Ongbamrungphan kept things respectable against Wang Yihan but just wasn’t able to stay close at the end of either game.  Boonsak Ponsana looked dangerous to Chen Long (pictured top) in their first game but was completely outclassed in the second.  The last two doubles wins were icing on the cake for the nine-time defending champions.

Less was at stake in the Level 1, Group B tie between Japan and Chinese Taipei.  Wins over Russia had ensured both teams their quarter-final tickets and the dispute on Tuesday was over the #1 spot for the group.

The first three matches were of the greatest spectator interest as they all featured battles among top ten players.  Tai Tzu Ying struggled in her first game against Nozomi Okuhara but managed to even things up for her team after they had lost the men’s doubles, technically due to upset.

Unlike the men’s doubles, where the two long-time top ten pairs without Superseries titles were on display, men’s singles featured two of the most recent Superseries winners.  In the end, it was world #8 Kento Momota (pictured) who got the better of Chou Tien Chen and got Japan back on a winning footing before world #1 Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi clinched the top spot in the group for Japan with an easy victory in women’s doubles.

The closest match of the day came in Level 3, Group A, where South Africa kept their hopes alive briefly when South Africa’s Willem Viljoen / Andries Malan (pictured bottom) pushed Jakub Bitman and Milan Ludik of Czech Republic to three games and won 26-24 in the decider.  The Czechs won the mixed doubles, though, to take the tie 3-2 and stay atop the group, which may yet end in a 3-way tie at the top.  So far, all but one tie has ended 3-2.

The last quarter-final spot in Level 1 will be decided on Wednesday afternoon but the result of the tie between Korea and India.  The other Level 1 tie on Wednesday will determine whether Indonesia or Denmark will top their group but both have already booked their spots in the quarters.

Click here for complete Tuesday results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @