KUALA LUMPUR (16 APRIL 2010): China might have done badly in this year's All England Championships but it is both good news and bad news for many.

Hot favourite and defending champion Lin Dan fell at the quarter-finals stage - losing to compatriot Bao Chunlai 21-16, 18-21, 21-17.

But Chunlai himself was knocked out in the semi-finals by Japanse upstart Kenichi Togo 18-21, 22-20, 21-18 who had earlier stopped Chen Jin 22-20, 19-21, 21-13 in the quarter-final.

"This is good for badminton. This is good for the game throughout the world as it has shown that others ar not only taking the game seriously but are also ready to bring down the Great Wall of China," said an official.

But the Chinese remain the favourites to retain the Thomas Cup - the Men's Team World Championships - held every two years. This year year's Thomas Cup Finals will be held at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from May 9-16.

China, who won the last three Thomas Cups - in Jakarta (2004), Sendai/Tokyo (2006) and in Jakarta (2008), are the top seeds and drawn in Group A with South Korea and Peru.

Host Malaysia are in Group B with Japan and Nigeria while all the European teams, Denmark, Germany and Poland are drawn in Group C. Second seeds Indonesia are in Group D with India and Australia.

“Of course we are disappointed not to win the All England title. It also showed that we cannot expect a walk in the park in any tournament, including the Thomas up. We have to step up our preparations and further improve on our training," said China coach Li Yongbo.

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