Malaysia to meet China in semi-final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Malaysia set up a semi-final clash with China as European challengers Denmark also clinched their semi-final place in the Thomas Cup men's tournament.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Malaysia set up a semi-final clash with pre-tournament favourites China in the Thomas Cup men's team tournament. China ensured they finished atop Group A with a nail-biting 4-1 win over South Korea. The Koreans had faced the awesome task of having to defeat the hosts to have any chance of qualifying for the last four themselves, but that was not to be. China's world number one Xia Xuanze defeated Japan Open champion Lee Hyun-Il 7-5, 7-1, 7-5 to draw first blood. However, the Chinese doubles again looked shaky, despite coach Li Yongbo's decision to drop Zhang Jun. Korean pair Kim Dong-Moon and Yoo Yung-Sung thrashed Cheng Rui and Wang Wei 7-4, 7-4, 7-4 to level the tie. But a brilliant attacking display from 18-year-old Lin Dan to defeat Shon Seung-Mo 7-5, 7-2, 7-2 gave the hosts a 2-1 lead. Doubles pair Zhang Wei and Chen Qiqiu pulled off a nerve wracking victory in the fourth rubber to ensure the Chinese maintained their proud record of having reached at least the semi-final of the Thomas Cup every year since 1976. (PTI)