Lin, Wang lead China defence of Thomas and Uber Cups

BEIJING: Olympic champion Lin Dan and women’s world number one Wang Yihan would lead China’s defence of their Thomas and Uber Cup team titles in Malaysia next month, Chinese Badminton Association (BA) announced.

MAIN MAN: Lin dives to return a shot against compatriot Wang Zhengming in their Asian Badminton Championship 2010 men’s singles final in New Delhi, in this April 18 file photo. Lin won 21-17, 21-15. — AFP photo

MAIN MAN: Lin dives to return a shot against compatriot Wang Zhengming in their Asian Badminton Championship 2010 men’s singles final in New Delhi, in this April 18 file photo. Lin won 21-17, 21-15. — AFP photo

World number two Lin leads a strong men’s team featuring four of the world’s top 10.

The Chinese are aiming to win the biennial Thomas Cup men’s team competition for a fourth time in a row.

China’s women will be strong favourites for a seventh successive Uber Cup triumph with a team featuring four of the world’s top five, the exception being number three Wang Lin.

The exclusion of Wang and Lu Lan, who won the world singles title in Hyderabad last year but has since dropped to 10th in the world, indicates the strength in depth that has allowed head coach Li Yongbo to make tailored selections for competitions.

“The first criteria is world ranking but of course that is not the only standard,” Li told the Chinese BA website.

“Secondly we look at the players’ ability to close out a match.

“Lastly, we in the coaching team choose players with the technique, mobility and ability to return better suited to team competi- tion.”

The 26th Thomas Cup and 23rd Uber Cup take place in Kuala Lumpur from May 9-16. — Reuters

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