Lin, Wang lead China defence of Thomas and Uber Cups

Beijing: Olympic champion Lin Dan and women`s world number one Wang Yihan will lead China`s defence of their Thomas and Uber Cup team titles in Malaysia next month, the Chinese Badminton Association (CBA) has announced.

World number two Lin leads a strong men`s team featuring four of the world`s top 10. The Chinese are aiming to win the biennial Thomas Cup men`s team competition for a fourth time in a row.

China`s women will be strong favourites for a seventh successive Uber Cup triumph with a team featuring four of the world`s top five, the exception being number three Wang Lin.

The exclusion of Wang and Lu Lan, who won the world singles title in Hyderabad last year but has since dropped to 10th in the world, indicates the strength in depth that has allowed head coach Li Yongbo to make tailored selections for competitions.

"The first criteria is world ranking but of course that is not the only standard," Li told the CBA website.

"Secondly we look at the players` ability to close out a match. Lastly, we in the coaching team choose players with the technique, mobility and ability to return better suited to team competition."

The 26th Thomas Cup and 23rd Uber Cup take place in Kuala Lumper from May 9-16.

Bureau Report

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