Asian women set to dominate Olympics
REIGNING Olympic champion Li Xuerui and silver medallist Wang Yihan powered China to their 14th Uber Cup title in Kunshan, China over the weekend and in doing so sent out a clear message that they are set to dominate the Olympics in August.
In the London Olympics, Xuerui defeated Yihan 21-15, 21-23, 21-17 for the gold while India's Saina Nehwal netted the bronze.
Xuerui and Yihan will once again carry China's challenge in the Rio Olympics and it will be hard to see them not be among the medal contenders again, although current world No 1 Carolina Marin of Spain could pose a serious threat.
The Chinese aside, there are other Asian stars like world No 2 Ratchanok Intanon, Sung Ji-hyun (No 7), Saina (No 8) and P.V. Sindhu (No 10) who could easily take over at the top, depending on the draw.
The ace in the Asian pack could well turn out to be Japan's All-England champion, Nozomi Okuhara who could dash China's plans.
In the Uber Cup final, South Korea's Jung Kyung-eun-Shin Seung-chan stunned Olympic champions Tian Qiang-Zhao Yunlei. The Koreans are in excellent form and will be a major threat to the Chinese.
World No 1 Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi suffered a surprise defeat in Japan's 3-1 defeat to Korea in the Uber Cup semi-finals but they are expected to bounce back in Rio. In the Uber Cup the Japanese lost to Kyung-eun-Seung-chan.