South Korea won three doubles events to beat Hong Kong, China 3-2 in their final group match at Sudriman Cup world team badminton championships on Wednesday.
England beat Japan 4-1 to stay away from the elimination playoff. Japan will take on Hong Kong in the do-or-die match.
As the winner of Group 1A, South Korea faces the runner-up of Group 1B in the semifinals. China and Indonesia will square off on Thursday to decide the rankings in Group 1B.
"Either China or Indonesia is a tough opponent to beat, so we need to make good preparations," said Kim Jong-Soo, coach of South Korea team.
Hong Kong's two points came from Chan Yan Kit in men's singles and Wang Chen in women's singles.
"I had a poor performance in the first set and she grabbed the chance," said Wang, who came from one set down to defeat Kim Moon-Hi 13-21, 21-15, 21-15.
World's No.12 pair Yoo Yeon-Seong/Kim Min-Jung gave South Korea the lead after beating Hui Wai-Ho/Yip Pui-Yin. Hwang Ji-Man/Han Sang-Hoon and Ha Jung-Eun/Kim Jung-Min then claimed the men's doubles and women's doubles respectively.
Sayako Sato defeated Sarah Walker in women's singles to earn Japan's only win in their 4-1 defeat.
India thrashed Scotland 5-0 to continue their swashbuckling form while Ukraine nipped the Aussies 3-2.
Both Hong Kong and Japan lost all three group matches and will face each other in the playoff of Group 1, which will decide who will be eliminated to Group 2 at the next Sudirman Cup.
Thailand outclassed Chinese Taipei 4-1 to top in Group 2A and came closer to returning to Group 1 if they win the promotion match.
Bulgaria will vie against India for promotion to Group 2.
(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2009)