NANNING (CHINA), May 25: Hosts China closed in on an 11th Sudirman Cup title as they ruthlessly dismantled Thailand to reach Sunday�s final of the mixed-team badminton world championship.
China�s comfortable 3-0 victory sets them up for a tournament decider against top seeds Japan or Indonesia, who play their semifinal later on Saturday.
China went 2-0 ahead in just 94 minutes thanks to their world number one mixed doubles pair Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, and second-ranked Shi Yuqi in the men�s singles.
The tie was over when the men�s doubles world champions Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen triumphed.
Shi did not have it all his own way against 18th-ranked Kantaphon Wangcharoen, who squandered three opportunities to clinch the second game and force a decider.
It was a turning point and Shi held his nerve before closing out victory 21-15, 26-24 to thrill the home crowd and snuff out the brief Thai resistance.
�It was a very tough second game,� said Shi, beaten in last year�s world championship final by Kento Momota.
The top two in men�s badminton will meet once more on Sunday if, as expected, Japan beat Indonesia. � AFP