3-0 is the Best Result I Can Imagine
Netease Sports Channel, May 15, 2005. After a straight 3-0, China beat Indonesia in the 9th Surdiman Cup and created a wonder of one nation ever wining in all the Thomas Cup, Uber Cup and Surdianman Cup. After the match, Li Yongbo and his shuttlers appeared in the press conference.
Li Yongbo: On behalf of the Chinese badminton team, I first pay tribute to all the friends from the medias. It’s our cooperation that keeps the Surdiman Cup here in China. 3-0 is a hard-won result, as we never won our opponents in such smooth way in the past. My thanks also go to our shuttlers for their good morale and performances tonight. Zhang Jun and Gao Ling are the best tonight. I think the result has proved that Lin Dan is the No.1. Today’s victory is a milestone in Lin’s path to the mature. But any way I think Taufik also gave his best tonight. His drives and placement pose some difficulties to Lin Dan to some degree. The reversal by Zhang Jun and Gao Ling gave testament to their superior mental quality. All of us are happy at the reversal. Zhang Jun’s performance in his second game shrunk a bit but he finally showed how a Olympic Champion should perform. 3-0 is the best result I can imagine because what I was really expecting is much worse. I am willing to share my joy with all of you. Chinese badminton team has created a wonder, one nation holding all 3 cups. We are so proud at the wonder and are more confident to make preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games which is a even larger goal for us. I am expecting our better performance in Beijing Olympic Games.
Reporter: Gao Ling has played in more than one item in all the 5 rounds. Do you have any comments about this?Li Yongbo: Gao Ling is outstanding. She is twice the Olympic Champion and wins titles in innumerable opens. His abilities are unquestionable and she is a sample to our shuttlers. I hope she can match until 2008, she is not old in my opinion. I believe in all our team members, so does our team of coaches. All 13 members in our team have fulfilled the duty well and lost no games.”
Reporter: Can you say something about the Indonesian mixed doubles tonight and our potential opponents in future?Li Yongbo: The status quo of badminton in the world has not been changed indeed. After the Athens Olympic, many old shuttlers didn’t retire, which shows the long history of badminton. Many a Chinese shuttler do not want to retire early either. They want to prolong their professional career. Our major threats are still from Denmark and Korea in addition Malaysia in men’s singles in particular. England and Thailand are also formidable opponents. In the World’s tournament, Asian Games and Thomas & Uber Cup, there is still a lot awaiting us. We are the 1st to raise both 3 cups and we want to keep the cups for a longer time.
Reporter: How will you celebrate the victory tonight?Li Yongbo: Some medias say that I like lingering in the bars. How about going bar tonight? (laughter) Maybe we will have a party with friends from across the country. But the party must be short as they are exhausted today. And I am now begging a favor from you that we don’t want to be covered by any medias. Can you do me the favor? (laughter)
Reporter: Chinese badminton resurrected 10 years ago when raising also the Surdiman Cup. Is there any difference in your feelings?Li Yongbo: I think the shuttlers of the old generations have laid sound base for today’s victory, leaving us precious legacy. What’s the difference is that we were the black horse 10 years ago, but we are the seed before the start of the match. This change shows the development of Chinese badminton.
Reporter: Have you ever thought of what if failure tonight?
Li Yongbo: Needless to answer the question. We have won the match easily. Any way, I did consider the failure. I thought the mixed doubles was the key. But if we had failed tonight, I must be still here to face you. Thanks our team members for not giving me that kind of chance.Reporter: After the first game of mixed doubles, you went to the umpire. What did you do then?
Li Yongbo: I wanted to kick the umpire. (laughter) I felt unfair. The judgment at 9-5 is unfair and critical. I think we should not have lost the 1st game. The Indonesian just would not out however they cleared. So I went to the umpire and warned that you should watch closely and said“this match is unfair!”I have to supervise as a audience should do.
Reporter: How is you feeling now Zhang Jun?
Zhang Jun: Very happy, we have 3 cups now.
Reporter: How do you think your contribution to today’s victory? Why you use Zhang Ning tonight in women’s singles?Li Yongbo: The honor belongs to every body. I just a member in the team. I have my duty by honor goes first to our shuttlers and second to coaches. In my opinion, it’s the teamwork that has brought us tonight’s victory. Zhang Ning is the world’s champion after all. His performance under pressure may be better. Xie Xinfang’s abilities is unquestionable, but she may not stand the pressure tonight.
Reporter: Have you planed to change a job?Li Yongbo: How about change with you? (laughter)Reporter: Do you have time to publish you personal record? Have you thought of have a vocal concert in Capital Gymnasium?Li Yongbo: My record has been finished and will be out within the year. Capital Gymnasium is too small I think. I have sung there before. I was so nervous. (laughter) I think I shall never ever do such thing in my life.
Reporter: Since you are the principal coach, how many world’s champions have you cultivated?Li Yongbo: 49.
Reporter: Will China win 5 badminton titles in 2008? Will Zhang Jun and Gao Ling match in 2008?Zhang Jun: 2008 is the dream to every shuttler. Coach Li Yongbo are kind to us and if my status permits, we will remain in the court for a long time.
Li Yongbo: The premise is the good control of weight. (laugher)
Reporter: Can you say something about the zealousness of our badminton fans?
Ling Yongbo: Better than what I have expected. I have ever said that we are under great pressure at home. The majority audiences in Guangzhou are good, but some of them have bad influences on our team. Beijing fans have shown their good makings.In our path to victory, supports from fans and Medias are indispensable. You all have a share in the victory. That’s something for sure!