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China lose to South Korea in thrilling Uber Cup final

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-05-15 09:10

Lee Sohee (L) and Shin Seungchan of Korea react after winning a women's doubles finals match against Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China at the BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2022 in Nonthaburi, Thailand, May 14, 2022. [Photo/IC]

BANGKOK -- China's dream to defend the Uber Cup was crushed by South Korea on Saturday in a tense 3-2 final that lasted seven hours.

After dropping the first set, China's Olympic champion Chen Yufei came back to overcome South Korea's top singles player An Se-young.

Chen was trailing in the third set when she called for medical assistance due to an ankle sprain, before An also suffered serious cramp. Chen scored five consecutive points after An took three match points at 20-17 to give China the lead.

The following doubles match, between the world's two top-ranked pairs, seemed to go in favor of Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan when the world No. 1 were leading comfortably in the second set after winning the first. However, Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan built up their momentum and turned the match around to win 12-21, 21-18, 21-18.

The final came to a tiebreak after He Bingjiao won the second singles match for China, before Kim Hye-jeong and Kong Hee-yong took the second doubles match in straight sets for South Korea.

Playing the third singles for China, Wang Zhiyi's rally fell short at the end of the first set to lose 28-26, but fended off Sim Yu-jin's chase to tie the match in the second set.

However, Sim had already built up momentum and crushed Wang in the deciding set 21-8, handing South Korea a 3-2 victory and its second-ever Uber Cup title.

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