Sports: Li Yongbo defends Thomas Cup team after defeat

(From Malay Mail Online)

China’s national badminton coach Li Yongbo declared his players were still among the best in the world but urged fans to be patient and expect occasional defeats after the host’s shock exit from the Thomas Cup.

Li defended his choice to field top-ranked Chen Long as the number one singles player in team competition over other top Chinese talent.

Li Yongbo defended his choice to field top-ranked Chen Long as the number one singles player in team competition over other top Chinese talent.

Under Li’s leadership China have dominated badminton for the past decade, but unease is mounting that the team’s golden era may be coming to an end.

On Thursday, China’s men were knocked out of the quarter-finals of the world badminton team championship after South Korea defeated them 3-1 — the first time they have failed to reach the Thomas Cup semi-finals since 1982.

Following the defeat, fans booed and hissed as the team exited the court in Kunshan, near Shanghai, with some in the audience chanting: “Li Yongbo quit!”

Coach Li said that despite the upset the men’s team were still among the best globally and called on fans to be more “understanding.”

“Of course China’s men’s badminton team is always one of the best in the world,” Li said late Saturday.

“We have to be eager for victory all the time, but we have to accept failure. If we win too much sometimes questions will come: ‘Is it positive for promoting badminton in the world?’ but if we lose sometimes questions will also come, that is the fact.” Read More



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