China were stopped in their pursuit of a 11th overall and seventh consecutive Sudirman Cup title by Korea, who clinched a tightly-contested final tie 3-2 in Gold Coast, Australia on Sunday.
Led by Women's singles star Sung Ji Hyun, Korea won their fourth title, their first after 2003 win in Eindhoven, to end China's dominance in the biennial tournament. It was remarkable feat by the third-seeded team, considering they had a weakened Men's doubles unit and that they did not even win their group, finishing behind Chinese Taipei to sneak through to the knockout stages.
On Sunday, the tie started with Chinese Men's doubles pairing Fu Haieng and Zhang Nan comfortably beating Choi Solgyu and Seung Jae Seo 21-14, 21-15 in straight games. However, Women's singles shuttler Sung got Korea back into the tie beating her lower-ranked opponent He Bingjiao 21-12, 21-16 in just 49 minutes. Notably, the Chinese shuttler had not played a match before in the tournament and China's strange tactic backfired in the crunch rubber.
Korea miss Son Wan Ho
In the Men's singles rubber, it was Korea's turn to help raise eyebrows with their tactics as they chose world number 49 Jeon Hyeok Jin over recently-crowned world number one Son Wan Ho to face Chen Long. The reigning Olympic champion made full use of the opportunity to decimate his opponent 21-10, 21-10 and restore China's one-point lead.
Korea's world number three Women's doubles pairing of Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee came out on top fending off a stiff fight from China's world number four pairing of Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan to make it 2-2 at the end of the fourth rubber.
Choi Solgyu/Chae Yoo Jung - The giant-slayers
As the tie went down to the wire, it was Korea's young Mixed doubles pairing of Choi Solgyu and Chae Yoo Jung who faced the daunting task of facing All England champions Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong. The former duo though started the rubber on a positive note taking an 3-0 lead to deflate the Chinese pair and eventually went on to take the game 21-17.
Choi and Chae continued from where they left in the first game to clinch the second 21-13 and complete the demolition of the Chinese giants in straight games.