Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, May 13th, Question: Teenager can’t stand Daliang Guoyu soup cup “pay tuition” and hope to grow
Xinhua News Agency reporter Ding Wenxian Ji Ye Song Yu
On the evening of the 12th, the Chinese men’s team lost 0:3 to the Indonesian team, missed the Thomas Cup semi-finals, and tied the worst record in history. It was almost a repeat of the last Soup Cup final, only this time the encounter happened early in the quarterfinals.
Expecting a tough battle, the Chinese team changed formations to respond. In the first single matchup, Zhao Junpeng, ranked 38th in the world, lost 1:2 to Jinting, who was fifth in the world. In the second men’s doubles match, Liu Yuchen/Ou Xuanyi lost 0:2 to Ashan/Sukamuyo. Subsequently, the 22-year-old newcomer Li Shifeng, ranked 50th in the world, lost two consecutive games to Jonathan, who was the eighth in the world.
Objectively speaking, the loss was expected. Before the game, compared with the Chinese women’s team, the favorite to win the Uber Cup and their rhetoric of defending the title, the men’s team was much more low-key. In the words of Zhang Jun, chairman of the Chinese Badminton Association, the goal of the soup cup is to “reach the top four and spell out.” momentum”.
At present, the men’s team is in the transition stage between the old and the new, the men’s singles is calling for a new generation, and the men’s doubles is fully reorganized in the new Olympic cycle. After the Tokyo Olympics, the Rio Olympic champion Chen Long, one of the two strongest singles players in the lineup, took a temporary truce and applied for point protection. He is currently recovering. The semi-final withdrawal storm received a penalty within the team, and is currently in a one-year suspension period; the most powerful men’s doubles team in Guoyu was split due to the retirement of Li Junhui.
In the Tang Cup competition this time, Guoyu had to focus on the young lineup. In singles, Lu Guangzu (No. 25) is the highest ranked player in the world. As for teenagers Li Shifeng and Weng Hongyang, their names are still a little unfamiliar to many people; men’s doubles are mostly new combinations, He Jiting/Zhou Haodong from last year’s Sudirman Cup Starting to partner, Liu Yuchen joined hands with Ou Xuanyi this season after Li Junhui’s retirement, while Tan Qiang and Ren Xiangyu reunited after many years.
The weak lineup also affected the draw. Due to the epidemic situation, the national feathers participated in fewer competitions last year, and the doubles was in the reorganization and adjustment period. The points ranking was not dominant. In the pre-match group draw, it was only the No. 7 seed in the Tang Cup. Group. In the direct dialogue with Denmark in the group stage, the Chinese team lost in a 6-hour battle and failed to win the top spot in the group. Therefore, the first knockout match met the strong defending champion Indonesia team.
Of course, the boys did not lack in performance in the game. In the match against the Indonesian team, after Zhao Junpeng lost the first game quickly, he was still behind in the second game, but he stubbornly came from behind in the second half to get back a game, but unfortunately the decisive game played ups and downs and lost; in the game against Denmark, Li Shifeng unexpectedly reversed and defeated the world’s third-ranked Antonsen… The Chinese men’s team finally stopped in the quarter-finals due to their poor strength. This is the “tuition fee” they paid for their growth.
Aside from sighing, looking at the world’s men’s badminton world, Ansailong and Antonsen from Denmark, Kento Momota from Japan, Ginting and Jonathan from Indonesia, and Li Zijia from Malaysia are all strong men’s singles players. There are top ten men’s doubles players in the world. The Chinese team lacks the core of the men’s singles, and the men’s doubles are still in the process of running in, and there is a gap with the world’s top level.
The last time Guoyu won the soup cup was in 2018, which was the first time he won the championship after six years. At that time, the men’s team was strong and balanced in singles and doubles, forming a relatively stable lineup of the old, middle and young generations. That year, it was the women’s team who were questioned. They stopped in the semi-finals and missed the Uber Cup final for the first time in history. At that time, “Little Flowers” Chen Yufei and He Bingjiao were still very young. However, after adjustment, the women’s team has now come out of the trough, and the women’s singles led by Olympic champion Chen Yufei has also formed a certain group advantage.
In badminton, and almost all sports, history has shown countless times that no team lasts forever. History has also verified countless times that the strong are always strong. It is normal to have twists and turns on the way forward. As long as you follow the law of development of things, face the gap, find the crux, actively seek changes, and practice, it is entirely possible to catch up again.
Paying the price of growth is not terrible, as long as it can really bring growth. The Paris Olympics cycle seems to have just started, but time is running out. It is expected that the young Guoyu will grow steadily through the competition, the new combination will successfully pass the running-in test period, and new leaders will emerge, creating a new era.