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Badminton: Japan upset China in Thomas Cup

Japan caused a sensational upset in the men's Thomas Cup on Friday, knocking out overwhelming favourites and defending champions China 3-0 in the semi-final in New Delhi.

NEW DELHI: Japan caused a sensational upset in the men's Thomas Cup on Friday, knocking out overwhelming favourites and defending champions China 3-0 in the semi-final in New Delhi.

China, seeking a record sixth consecutive title in the team championships, held every two years, never recovered after Chen Long lost to Kenichi Tago in the opening singles.

World number two Chen lasted just 43 minutes against the aggressive fourth-ranked Tago to go down 21-13, 21-11.

Japan made it 2-0 through the doubles pair of Kenichi Hayakawa and Hiroyuki Endo, who beat Chai Biao and Hong Wei 22-20, 21-19.

The 15th-ranked Kento Momoto sealed the tie for the 2012 semi-finalists by coming from behind to upset world number six Du Pengyu 23-25, 21-18, 21-14 after an hour and 25 minutes.

World champion Lin Dan, who was due to play the fifth match, was left stranded as the Japanese celebrated a famous win at the Siri Fort stadium in the Indian capital.

Japan await the winners of the second semi-final between Indonesia and Malaysia in Sunday's final.

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