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All set for a Chinese sweep

BIRMINGHAM, MARCH 13. China will dominate the All-England championships again after filling seven of Sunday's 10 badminton finals berths and guaranteed both singles titles.

Defending champion and World No. 1 Lin Dan completed the semifinal program on Saturday by beating world runner-up and ninth-seeded Wong Choong Hann of Thailand 15-8, 12-15, 15-1.

In the final, he will meet 2002 champion and 2003 runner-up Chen Hong, who downed seventh-seeded Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia 15-13, 15-10.

Women's World and Olympic champion Zhang Ning was eventually too strong for Japanese star Eriko Hirose 11-4, 9-11, 11-1 in 41 minutes, and will chase her first All-England title but China's eighth in nine years. In the final she will face third-seeded Xie Xingfang, who trailed Zhang 5-4 in their head-to-head, but won their most recent meeting eight days ago at the German Open 11-5, 11-4.

The results: (semifinals):

Men: singles: 4-Chen Hong (Chn) bt 7-Lee Chong Wei (Mal) 15-13, 15-10. Doubles: 4-Lars Paaske & Jonas Rasmussen (Den) bt 2-Luluk Hadiyanto & Alven Yulianto (Ina) 15-12, 6-15, 15-11; 3-Cai Yun & Fu Haifeng (Chn) bt 8-Ha Tae-Kwon & Yim Bang-Eun (Kor) 15-9, 15-6.

Women: singles: 1-Zhang Ning (Chn)bt Eriko Hirose (Jpn) 11-4, 9-11, 11-1; 3-Xie Xingfang (Chn) bt Mia Audina Tjiptawan (Ned) 11-8, 11-5. Doubles: 2-Wei Yili & Zhao Tingting (Chn) bt 4-Sathinee Chankrachangwong & Saralee Thungthongkam (Tha) 15-6, 15-3; 3-Gao Ling and Huang Sui (Chn) bt 1-Yang Wei & Zhang Jiewen (Chn) 10-15, 15-5, 17-14.

Mixed doubles: Thomas Laybourn & Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den) bt 5-Nova Widianto & Lilyana Natsir (Ina) 15-11, 15-11; 2-Nathan Robertson & Gail Emms (Eng) bt 4-Sudket Prapakamol & Saralee Thungthongkam (Tha) 15-12, 15-4.

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