Updated: Sun, 19 May 2013 11:16:08 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Shaky start for China at Sudirman badminton

Defending champions China experienced a shaky start to their defence of the Sudirman Cup despite whipping India 5-0 in their opening Group A match in Malaysia on Sunday.


Shaky start for China at Sudirman badminton

Wang Yihan of China returns a shot against P. V. Sindhu of India at the 2013 Sudirman Cup world mixed team badminton championships in Kuala Lumpur on May 19, 2013. Defending champions China experienced a shaky start to their defence of the Sudirman Cup despite whipping India 5-0 in their opening Group A match in Malaysia.

So distraught were the Chinese officials over their players' lacklustre performances that they snubbed the official press conference after their tie.

The eight-time winners of the trophy, who are gunning for their fifth consecutive crown, took more than three hours to subdue their opponents to virtual guarantee themselves a place in the quarter-finals.

The third team in Group A are former champions Indonesia, who play India on Monday.

With only three teams in each of the four groups, the top two countries will qualify for Thursday's quarter-finals.

More worryingly for China was the form of world champion Wang Yihan, who was stretched to three games by upcoming Indian star P. V. Sindhu. Sindhu was playing in place of the injured Saina Nehwal.

Saina, who has moved up to number two in the world rankings, withdrew from the tournament as she has a hairline fracture on her toe.

The lanky Wang Yihan, who spoke after her 19-21, 21-16, 21-14 victory, said: "She (Sindhu) is a tough opponent.

"I should have won the first game but threw it away. She is young and hungry and took me by surprise and I couldn't cope.

"I found my rhythm in the second game and took control from then on. I hope I can play in more matches after this."

In another Division 1 match, Denmark outplayed Singapore 4-1.

The Europeans, who are undergoing a transitional period following the retirement of legendary shuttlers Peter Gade and Tine Baun, will take on Japan on Tuesday.

The Danes, who have reached 10 of 12 Sudirman Cup semi-finals, have taken heart from their great start.

Gade's heir apparent, Jan O Jorgensen, was bullish about his team's chances despite the absence of their two super stars.

"It is definitely a big blow to lose someone like Peter. He is a superb team player and led the team to many medals in the past," said Jorgensen after 17-21, 21-9, 21-13 victory over Derek Wong.

"I'm still confident our team can win a medal in this tournament. It won't be easy but we are very determined to show what we can do."

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