China won their sixth consecutive Sudirman Cup on Sunday (May 17), defeating Japan, which had reached the badminton tournament's finals for the first time.
Thousands welcomed home team China with horns and drums as they entered and huddled to chants of "go China, go", with jeers heard when the Japanese team arrived on the court in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan.
China swept Japan 3-0 in a series of tightly contested matches during the final day of the event, with Chinese superstar Lin Dan winning his men's single match against Japan's Takuma Ueda 21-15, 21-13.
China's Li Xuerui, the top seeded women's singles player, exchanged leads with her opponent Akane Yamaguchi in the first game, but ultimately handed Yamaguchi a defeat, winning 23-21, 21-14.
"Because it's a big contest, I felt pressure. The reason why the score was so close in the first game was because I made a few mistakes," Li told reporters after the game. Yamaguchi told reporters Li handled the pressure of the match better.
China's Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan also contributed to the nation's tenth win at the Sudirman Cup, which was first held in 1989, winning 21-17, 20-22, 21-17 in a tight men's doubles against Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa.
Photo by BadmintonPhoto.
Quarter-finals for Germany and Denmark
Denmark and Germany did both reach the quarter-final stage. Germany lost to the eventual champion China 0-3 while Denmark stretched Japan to the limit (2-3).