Fri, 01 Dec 2023

SUZHOU, China, May 21 (Xinhua) -- China was crowned at the 2023 Sudirman Cup after whitewashing South Korea 3-0 in the final here on Sunday.

With the triumph, the hosts have thus clinched the title three times in a row, and won 13 championships in the past 18 editions.

Mixed doubles Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong recovered from one game down to beat Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung 18-21, 22-20, 21-8 before Shi Yuqi made it 2-0 by thrashing Lee Yun-gyu 21-13, 21-17 in the men's singles.

"I think because of our firm belief and the aura we exuded, our opponents were a little bit scared, and they obviously missed the last two receivers, which I think is probably not a coincidence," Zheng told Xinhua.

"We are very united and we also have a good mentality on key points. So I think these are the strengths of the Chinese team," Shi added after the crucial tie.

Olympic women's singles champion Chen Yufei sealed the victory for China after defeating world No. 2 An Se-young 21-16, 22-20.

"She was in good shape and won a lot of matches, but I didn't think too much about it, I went into the match with the mindset of learning from her," Chen said as she recalled how she felt on the court.

With the hard-fought victory, in-form Chen broke her three-time losing streak against An and enabled the holders to successfully defend their title.

"It was a tough experience to win the championship. The mixed team competition is a little different from other matches because it requires the whole team to work together and believe that we can get through no matter what adversity or desperation we encounter," the Chinese Badminton Association president Zhang Jun explained to Xinhua after the match.

"For us, the most difficult team to play is South Korea, the second is Japan and the third is Indonesia, and we have played against the three strongest teams all the way through," he added. "I think our players performed very well by demonstrating the spirit of never giving up until the last point."

China, the most successful team in tournament history, also got revenge as they were stunned 3-2 by South Korea in the final six years ago.

The biennial tournament, hosted in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, has attracted wide attention as it serves as the first qualifying tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The 2025 Sudirman Cup will continue to be held in China, with the host city to be determined.

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