Badminton: Indonesia beat South Korea to reach Thomas Cup final

Angga Pratama (right) and Ricky Karanda Surwardi of Indonesia celebrate their victory in the men's semi-finals group match at the Thomas Cup tournament in Kunshan, on May 20, 2016.
Angga Pratama (right) and Ricky Karanda Surwardi of Indonesia celebrate their victory in the men's semi-finals group match at the Thomas Cup tournament in Kunshan, on May 20, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

KUNSHAN, China (AFP) - Indonesia beat South Korea 3-1 on Friday to reach the Thomas Cup final and raise hopes of their first victory in 14 years in a competition they once dominated.

Indonesia, who have won the men's team tournament a record 13 times, proved too strong for South Korea, who stunned hosts China a day earlier.

Son Wan Ho, who beat world No. 1 Chen Long in a pulsating quarter-final, glided past Indonesia's Jonatan Christie 21-10, 21-16 to put South Korea ahead.

But Indonesia rallied in the following match, with Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan securing a 21-15, 21-12 win over Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong.

Anthony Ginting put South Korea on the brink with a 21-18, 21-18 victory over Lee Dong Keun before doubles pair Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi beat Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang 21-15, 21-18.

"We have good doubles and good singles, so why not?" said Ginting, when asked if Indonesia had a chance of winning the final.

Indonesia will contest their first Thomas Cup final since 2010 against either Lee Chong Wei's Malaysia or Denmark, who play later on Friday.

In the women's Uber Cup competition, Olympic champion Li Xuerui led China into the final as she won a hard-fought three-gamer against India's Saina Nehwal.

The world No. 3 struggled to her find her groove but eventually established a rhythm, prevailing 21-15, 12-21, 21-17 against the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist.

Wang Shixian snuffed out a late, second-game surge from India's P. V. Sindhu to win 21-13, 23-21 before doubles duo Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei clinched the tie 21-6, 21-6 against Jwala Gutta and Nelakurihi Sikki Reddy.

"Japan and Korea are both very strong teams," said Zhao of China's possible finals opponent. "I hope the China women's team can play together and win every point."