Champs Japan surrender the title, Korea shock favourites China
KUNSHAN: Japan's reign as Thomas Cup champions ended here at the hands of European champions Denmark won their quarter-final match 3-2. Denmark will now face Malaysia in the semi-finals.
In the other semi-finals South Korea will face Indonesia. The Koreans scored their biggest win in a team championships when they crushed favourites and top seeds China with a 3-1 scoreline.
Viktor Axelsen put Denmark on the victory path when he won the first singles against Sho Sasaki in straight sets 21-13, 21-16 in 36 minutes and fell further behind when their top doubles pair Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa fell to a shock 16-21, 17-21 defeat to Mathias Boe-Mads Conrad-Petersen in the first doubles.
There was hope for Japan when Takuma Ueda won the second singles against Jan O Jorgensen in three sets 21-13, 13-21, 21-10 and when Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda made it 2-2 with a 21-15, 21-17 win over Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in the second doubles the tie had to be decided in the third singles.
Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus celebrated with a 23-21, 21-17 win over Riichi Takeshita as the Japanese was left in tears.
The Korea-China encounter was a thriller all the way after Son Wan-ho took 88 minutes to beat World No 1 Chen Long 21-12, 16-21, 21-15 to give Korea a shock 1-0 lead after the first singles.
China fell further behind after first doubles when world No 1 Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong prevailed with a 23-25, 23-21, 21-12 win over Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan in a marathon 96 minute battle.
Five time-world champion and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan gave the vociferous home fans something to cheer and hope in his 21-10, 21-15 win over Korean youngster Lee Dong-keun in 51 minutes.
However, the Koreans clinched a famous 3-1 win when Kim Gi-jung-Kim Sa-rang took only 32 minutes to crush Li Junhui-Zheng Siwei 21-15, 21-18 in the second doubles.
QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS (May 19)
Denmark beat Japan 3-2
Viktor Axelsen beat Sho Sasaki 21-13, 21-16
Jan O Jorgensen lost to Takuma Ueda 13-21, 21-13, 10-21
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus beat Riichi Takeshita 23-21, 21-17
Mathias Boe-Mads Conrad-Petersen beat Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa 21-16, 21-17
Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen lost to Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda 15-21, 17-21
South Korea beat China 3-1
Son Wan ho beat Chen Long 21-12, 16-21, 21-15
Lee Dong-keun lost to Lin Dan 10-21, 15-21
Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong beat Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan 23-25, 23-21, 21-12
Kim Gi-jung-Kim Sa-rang beat Li Junhui-Zheng Siwei 21-15, 21-18