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Give us time, say China's new badminton faces

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HONG KONG - China's top badminton prospects called for patience Wednesday and vowed to reassert the country's dominance after the unprecedented shock of failing to win any titles at last week's China Open.

China have ruled badminton for a decade but evidence mounted that the golden age is coming to an end when they left the China Open without a trophy for the first time in the tournament's 30-year history.


With the great Lin Dan in the twilight of his career and other top performers facing growing competition from foreign players, China are now looking for a new generation of world-beaters to emerge.

"Some players are getting older and then there are the up and coming players. We need time and experience," said women's doubles player Li Yinhui at the Hong Kong Open.

"But that doesn't mean things are shifting away or that we cannot maintain the dominant position."

The 19-year-old was among China's runners-up in Fuzhou on Sunday when she lost in both the women's and the mixed doubles finals.

Her women's doubles partner, Huang Dongping, 21, brushed off suggestions that pressure was rising, expressing confidence that China would reassert its grip.

"No, I don't feel any pressure. We just focus on every match," said Huang, after the pair beat Taiwan's Chiang Kai-Hsin and Hung Shih-Han in the first round in Hong Kong. "We don't focus on too many other things."

Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen led Sunday's rout in Fuzhou when he shocked world and Olympic champion Chen Long in straight games to win the men's singles title.

It was the latest disappointment in what has been a difficult year for Chinese badminton.

At the Thomas Cup team tournament in May, China were knocked out in the quarter-finals, prompting calls for long-time head coach Li Yongbo to quit.

China won two badminton gold medals at the Rio Olympics but the total was well down on London 2012, when they swept all five titles.

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Muslim Global: Give us time, say China's new badminton faces
Give us time, say China's new badminton faces
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