May 7, 2006

China whitewash Danes to retain Thomas Cup

TOKYO (Reuters) - World number one Lin Dan battled past
Peter Gade as China whitewashed Denmark 3-0 to retain the
Thomas Cup on Sunday.

Lin overcame a spirited challenge from world number three
Gade to win the opening rubber 21-17 21-19 before Cai Yun and
Fu Haifeng won the doubles and Bao Chunlai sealed victory.

It was China's sixth world team title overall following
three successive victories from 1986 to 1990 and a successful
campaign in Jakarta two years ago. They first lifted the trophy
in 1982.

"It was a tough match," a jubilant Lin told reporters. "It
was crucial to put China 1-0 up and Gade was fighting hard to
do the same for Denmark."

Lin also gained revenge after a recent loss to Gade at the
China Masters.

"I think Gade was sharper in Beijing. But I put him under
pressure and increased the tempo when the games were close.
That was the key," said Lin, who has won eight of 10 meeting
with Gade. "I was better prepared for this match."

Cai and Fu recovered after losing the opening game to beat
world number one pairing Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard
Hansen 19-21 21-11 21-18.

"There were some nerves at the start because it was a big
final," said Fu. "But we settled things down in the second
game. We never gave up. That's the strength of this China

Bao made it 3-0 in the best-of-five final with a 21-12
12-21 21-12 victory over Kenneth Jonassen.

Gade paid tribute to Lin after Denmark's eighth defeat in
eight finals.

"He was so sharp at the net today that I couldn't do
anything," he said. "He made it very difficult for me. I didn't
really have a chance today."

China's victory capped a perfect weekend following their
women's anticipated success in the women's Uber Cup. The
red-hot favorites beat the Netherlands 3-0 in Saturday's final.