Badminton: China on top as Danes fade

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CHINA made light of the gloom in badminton caused by the effects of the economic downturn in South-east Asia to collect three of the five titles available at the sport's showcase, the All-England Championships, in Birmingham on Saturday.

Sponsorship is drying up, and the All-England must wait to see if Yonex continue its support. On court, though, Sun Jun took the men's title and the world champion, Ye Zhaoying, the women's for the second year in succession, while the women's doubles went to Ge Fei and Gu Jun.

With South Koreans winning the mixed and men's doubles - Kim Ding-moon and Ra Kyung-min won the mixed, beating the Danes, Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark, while Lee Dong-soo and Yoo Yong-sun took the men's - it meant an eclipse for Europe and in particular Denmark, the only European country capable of a serious challenge.

With the Thomas and Uber Cup team finals two months away, European hopes look moderate, though the Danes should have their injured world champion, Peter Rasmussen, back.