Sports

South Korea shock China in Sudirman Cup triumph

South Korea stunned China to win the Sudirman Cup yesterday, coming from 2-1 down to clinch the final 3-2 on Australia's Gold Coast and end their opponents' 12-year stranglehold on the biennial mixed team international tournament.

Choi Sol Gyu and Chae Yoo Jung were mobbed by their teammates after combining for a 21-17, 21-13 win over Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong in the mixed doubles to secure the victory, which gave the Koreans their fourth title and a first since 2003.

China had won all five titles since then and looked set for an 11th overall when Olympic and world champion Chen Long earned a convincing 21-10, 21-10 victory over Jeon Hyeok Jin in the men's singles to put his country 2-1 up.

All England champions Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee, however, wrestled the tie back to level terms, after winning a topsy-turvy women's doubles rubber over teenagers Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan.

South Korea had opted to leave new men's singles world No. 1 Son Wan Ho out of the line-up for the final, but Choi, who had earlier lost the men's doubles with Seo Seung Jae, and Chae delivered when it mattered.

Lu, who stands at 1.91m tall, had the height advantage, but Choi used his power from the back of the court to keep the shuttlecock down around the big man's ankles.

The South Koreans were always ahead of the All England and Asian champions and wrapped up the first set in 25 minutes.

It was the 23-year-old Huang's backhand that was at fault on championship point when she could only parry into the net at the Gold Coast Sport and Leisure Centre.

Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan's 21-14, 21-15 win over Choi and Seo started the day with world championship bronze medallist Sung Ji Hyun levelling the tie up in the women's singles rubber with a 21-12, 21-16 victory over He Bingjiao. - REUTERS

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