WUHAN, China, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Reigning champion South Korea smashed Japan's dream for a spot in the Uber Cup final by winning three straight matches here on Thursday afternoon.
After surviving the nail-biting six-hour quarter-final last night, Japan felt it unfair that there was an afternoon semifinal awaiting them right on the next day.
"It's better for us if we can compete in the night or have one day to rest," said the Japanese head coach Park Joo Bong. "The tight schedule made it tough for us and South Korea. It's unfair."
Sayaka Sato lost her fifth encounter with Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea 21-15, 21-10 as the first singles shuttler.
"My coach even wrote notes on my hand to remind me to be cautious with Ji Hyun Sung's killing stroke," said the 21-year-old Sato through a translator. "My opponent was just too strong."
Sato's teammate Reika Kakkiwa had just five hours sleep last night. Kakkiwa and her partner Mizuki Fujii could have won one point to level 1-1 against South Korea in the doubles, but they eventually lost to Min Jung Kim/Jung Eun Ha 13-21, 21-17 and 14-21.
Youn Joo Bae sealed the deciding third point for South Korea after outplaying last year's All-England Open runner-up Eriko Hirose 21-15, 21-17.
South Korea stunned the 11-time champion China to claim the Uber Cup title two years ago. China was slated to meet Thailand later in the evening semifinal.