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Badminton: Indonesia wins Thomas Cup again after almost two-decade wait

Badminton: Indonesia wins Thomas Cup again after almost two-decade wait

Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting celebrates winning a men's singles match in the Thomas Cup men's team final match between China and Indonesia, in Aarhus, Denmark, on Oct 17, 2021. (Photo: AP/Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix)

AARHUS, Denmark: Indonesia ended an almost two-decade wait to win the Thomas Cup after beating defending champions China 3-0 in the finals at the Ceres Arena on Sunday (Oct 17). 

The last time Indonesia won the trophy was in the 2002 edition in Guangzhou, China. Indonesia now holds a record 14 titles in the tournament.

World number five Anthony Sinisuka Ginting set the pace by clinching the first point for Indonesia.

He bounced back from a set down to defeat world number 27, Lu Guang Zu, 18-21, 21-14, 21-16 after a hard-fought battle that took well over an hour.

"In the first set, I was a little nervous and Guang Zu was more aggressive. But I managed to get out of the pressure in the second and third sets, became calmer and managed to turn things around," said Anthony after the match. 

"I have played against him (Guang Zu) twice before, but this was the most difficult one," he said. .

In a surprising move, Indonesia fielded their third doubles Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto, despite having the likes of world number one pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and world number two Hendra Setiawan-Mohammad Ahsan.

However, the world number seven pair was able to beat He Ji Ting-Zhou Hao Dong in straight sets of 21-12, 21-19 to double the lead in front of more than 2,000 spectators.

Indonesia confirmed the 3-0 victory against China - the second most successful team in the biennial tournament with 10 titles - when world number seven Jonatan Christie clinched a 21-14, 18-21, 21-14 win against world number 65, Li Shi Feng.

Jonatan credited his teammates for the success, and thanked all Indonesians for their support.

“It is definitely very amazing because the last time we lifted this trophy was in 2002, and that was very, very long ago," said .

"At that time, our (former) singles player Taufik Hidayat was still playing. I feel it is high time for us to bring the Thomas Cup back home,” he said.

Although he did not play in the finals, it was a memorable moment for sensational Indonesian skipper Hendra to lift the trophy after seven failed attempts.

The 37-year-old has had an illustrious career winning numerous accolades, including the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medal, four World Championships, two Asian Games gold and two All England titles.

Indonesia had ousted Malaysia 3-0 in the quarter-finals and hosts Denmark 3-1 in the semi-finals, while China beat Thailand 3-0 in the quarter-finals and last year’s runners-up Japan 3-1 in the semis.

Source: Others/Bernama/ad

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