Chinese Whitewash Danes in Sudirman

Qingdao, China. The rest of the badminton world was left wondering on Monday how they would ever catch up with China after the dominant force in the game easily romped to a fourth successive Sudirman Cup win.

The hosts demolished Denmark, Europe’s best team, 3-0 in Sunday’s final in front of a raucous sellout crowd in the seaside city here.

Hot pre-tournament favorites China was the outstanding side at the world mixed team championships and no other country came even remotely close to toppling them as they rampaged their way to yet another big title.

With teams eyeing the Olympics in London next year, it was yet another awesome display of China’s domination. Lars Uhre, Denmark’s head coach, admitted his aging side never even came close.

“We got swept away very quickly, and we didn’t stand a chance,” he said.

After the heavy defeat at a packed house of about 12,500, Denmark now contemplates a future without its world number five Peter Gade, who confirmed this would be his last Sudirman Cup.

Tine Baun, the women’s No. 8, is also reaching the twilight of her career.

“We are very experienced but we believe you need experience in the big matches,” Uhre said.

“Our best players are quite old and we are not as quick at getting them to this high level because we cannot train them from such a young age as you do here, so they peak later,” he said at a post-match press conference.

Gade, 34, acknowledged it was “almost impossible” to beat the Chinese on home turf and said they had frightening strength in depth compared with the rest of the world.

“It’s not quite impossible, but you need a few things to get together before you can do it,” he said after being comprehensively beaten by Lin Dan.

“They have not been that much under pressure in the tournament and they have a lot left in the reserves,” Gade said.

“Maybe we used up a bit more energy than them on the way and if we are to beat them, we need that extra edge,” he added. “They have a fantastic team. We have to be honest, they could almost put out two teams which would be in the final against us.”

Head coach Li Yongbo, under whom China has enjoyed huge success, said he had been surprised by the ease with which his powerful side had defeated Denmark.

“Denmark was strong. Most of their players are experienced and quite old but it was difficult for them against us today,” he said.

“Today’s performance was the best of the week. We recovered from some small difficulties in the group stages to find the confidence to put on a good performance in the final.

“I didn’t expect it to be so smooth,” he said.

Agence France-Presse

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