KUALA LUMPUR: Olympic champion Lin Dan crushed world number one Lee Chong Wei in a Clash of the Titans on Friday as China outgunned hosts Malaysia to set up a Thomas Cup final with second seeds Indonesia.
The odds were stacked against Malaysia with China fielding some of the world’s best players and a win by Lee seen as their only chance of getting through. But a capacity 16,000 crowd sensed their team was on its way out when left-handed world number two Lin pipped an out-of-sorts Lee 21-17 in the first set before sealing the Malaysian star’s fate with a 21-8 thrashing in the second.
The tournament favourites turned the thumbscrews with doubles world number eight Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng overwhelming Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong to win 21-15, 21-10. And China killed off Malaysia’s hopes when world number three Chen Ji proved too good for Wong Choong Hann, who crashed 21-16, 21-7 handing the partisan support an anti-climactic end to a day of cheers, jeers, bangs and whistles. China will be favourites on Sunday against Indonesia, who smashed their way to a record 17th Thomas Cup final earlier, delivering Japan an unforgettable master class in athleticism, agility and passion.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 15th, 2010.
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