WUHAN, China, May 25 (Xinhua) -- China and South Korea reached the final of the Thomas Cup here on Friday, a day after the women's teams of the two countries set up a repeat Uber Cup final.
Danish veteran Peter Gade bid farewell to his last Thomas Cup with a loss to South Korea's Lee Hyun Il 17-21, 21-14, 21-10 before he witnessed Denmark being knocked out of these team championships by South Korea in aggregate score of 1-3.
Defending champions China continued their unstoppable momentum, beating Japan 3-0 in three close matches to enter the final for the fifth consecutive times.
Four-time world champion Lin Dan edged past Sho Sasaki in straight sets to revenge his loss to the Japanese at last years' Indonesian Superseries.
The scoreline in the first set went point for point amid thunderous cheers and applause from the spectators. Lin squandered three set points when leading by 20-17, but managed to take the first set 23-21.
Lin came from behind to take the lead after 11-all in the second set and never looked back.
"I made lots of effort during the match and my opponent did really well," said Lin, who participated in the Thomas Cup for the six consecutive times.
Talking about the final clash against South Korea, Lin said the South Korean players are young and promising, "but the Chinese players will put out a fight against them just like young players."
World doubles No. 1 Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng outclassed Shoji Sato/Naoki Kawamae with a tight 25-23, 21-18 victory, before world No. 3 Chen Long scored the winning point by defeating Kenichi Tago 21-13, 21-16 at ease.
"Lin and Cai/Fu withstood the pressure to take hard-fought victories, while Chen also had a stable performance in the important third match. These matches will help us in the preparation for the London Olympics," said Li Yongbo, head coach of the Chinese team.
Denmark, the sole European team in the top four of the Thomas Cup, failed to keep their flag high after the semifinals against South Korea.
Former world No. 1 Gade will retire after the London Olympic Games. In his last Thomas Cup semifinals, the 35-year-old had a better start but lost the rhythm in the next two sets.
"I got a good start...In the second set, I should be more aggressive. That's the key factor," said Gade.
World Superseries Finals champions Carsten Mogensen/ Mathias Boe leveled score to 1-1 by beating Yeon Seong Yoo/Sung Hyun Ko 21-10 and 21-12, but victories from Shon Wan Ho and doubles pair Lee Yong Dae/Kim Sa Rang put South Korea into the final.
"Unfortunately our European teams fail to enter the final, but I think the European players will continue to threaten Asian teams," said Danish head coach Lars Uhre.