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China powers into Thomas Cup semis
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Defending champion China crushed Thailand as it powered into the Thomas Cup semifinals yesterday. China next faces Malaysia, which dismissed Japan in commanding fashion.

Host Indonesia made the last four of the women's Uber Cup, upsetting Hong Kong 3-0 in front of a vocal home crowd, and will next play Germany, which won its all-European blockbuster against Denmark by the same score.

World No 1 Lin Dan opened the tie for China with a 21-15, 21-14 drubbing of Boonsak Ponsana.

The doubles pairing of Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng proved a different class to Tesana Panvisavas and Nuttaphon Narkthong, winning 21-12, 21-17, before Bao Chunlai eased past Poompat Sapkulchananart 21-14, 21-11 to end Thai hopes.

Chinese team manager Li Yongbo said his squad been affected by the earthquake in Sichuan Province that has claimed thousands of lives, but they kept their focus to beat Thailand.

"The whole team is very concerned and are determined to help out. They have all donated money and are watching what happens closely," he said, adding that at least three of the Chinese squad here are from Sichuan.

Li was keen to play down China's chances of grabbing a third straight title, saying Indonesia was the team to beat.

"It doesn't really matter who we play, we will always be prepared," he said. "But I think China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Denmark are all very equal at the moment. I'd say though that Indonesia is favorite because it has the home crowd support."

Later yesterday, the Chinese women's team edged the Netherlands 3-2 to book a place in the semifinals.

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, the world No 2 who will likely face Lin in the opening semifinal rubber on Friday, helped his team brush aside Japan 3-0, overcoming Shoji Sato 21-10, 21-16.

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