Denmark return to top four in Sudirman Cup

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Denmark returned to the top four of Sudirman Cup after six years' absence by beating Chinese Taipei 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the world mixed team badminton championship Friday in Qingdao, east China.

Denmark stayed among the top four for nine editions since the Sudirman Cup was launched in 1989, but was knocked out in the last two editions.

World No. 3 Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen put Denmark ahead by sailing past Wen Hsing Cheng/Hung Ling Chen 21-17, 21-13 in the opening mixed doubles. It seemed that Denmark would easily get a semifinal berth when Peter Gade made it 2-0 by overcoming Hsuan Yi Hsueh 20-22, 21-15, 21-10.

However, the tenacious Chinese Taipei didn't give up and began their fightback in men's doubles under thunderous cheer from the crowds.

Facing world No. 1 Carsten Mogensen/Mathias Boe, Sheng Mu Lee/Chieh Min Fang rallied to stun their rivals 22-20, 21-23, 21-18.

The loss in men's doubles definitely affected Tine Baun's performance in the following women's singles as the world No. 8 lost the first game 21-13, but the experienced Baun surely didn't allow another upset, taking the next two games 21-16, 21-14 to secure the semifinal spot.

"We were actually expected, we knew that Chinese Taipei would give a good fight ,would come from behind with all they have, but I was ready to bring the winning point for Denmark," said Baun after the tough competition.

Meanwhile, Indonesia smashed Japan's hopes to reach the semifinals for the first time, emerging a 3-2 victor in a marathon battle which lasted more than five hours.

With China playing South Korea for a final slot in the upper half, Denmark will meet Indonesia in the other semifinals on Saturday.

Indonesia advanced to the top four thanks to their mixed doubles win in the decider. Fran Kurniawan Teng/Pia Zebadiah Bernadet overcame Shintaro Ikeda/Reiko Shiota 21-19, 23-25, 21-14.

Earlier, Alvent Yulianto Chandra/Mohammad Ahsan gave Indonesia the lead by defeating Noriyasu Hirata/Hirokatsu Hashimoto 21-17, 21-16, but Japanese singles Eriko Hirose and Kenichi Tago pulled two points back before Greysia Polii/Meiliana Jauhari made it to the decider by pushing aside Mami Naito/Shizuka Matsuo 21-17, 21-16.

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