Badminton Life

Host Nation Shock at the Thomas Cup

There was widespread shock and disbelief in the Indonesian badminton community as word spread about the nation's semi final defeat to Korea in the Thomas Cup.

As host nations and with an impressive pedigree of triumph in the tournament, all observers were predicting Indonesia's safe passage to the final. Korea had never made it to the final in the entire history of the tournament but clearly no one had predicted the Korean team of the expected outcome in Indonesia.

The noisy home support was one thing but it was clear that the Korean team had better preparation and were mentally prepared for this tie which counted in the end. A 3-0 triumph in any semi final is a major result and no doubt the recriminations in the Indonesian badminton federation will be long and hard. This defeat will place extra pressure on the Indonesian team before the Olympics and a similar failure at this summer's event will not be tolerated.

However, Korea were fully deserving of their victory and they will be looking forward to the final, even though they will be facing up to China.

China booked their placed in the final of the Thomas Cup by defeating Malaysia in the semi-final. Malaysia took the first set of the match when Lee Chong Wei quickly disposed of the current World number one, Lin Dan. This two set victory was an upset and no doubt the Malaysian team were starting to dream that a final place would be theirs.

The match ebbed and flowed with China storming back to take a 2-1 lead but Malaysia then squared matters with a doubles victory. Going into the final singles tie, the pressure was firmly on the two players with both knowing that a win would send their team through to the final. Equally, defeat would be enough to undo all the hard work done by the team and see them crash out.

Understandably nerves were high but Chen Jin sealed a 21-12, 21-16 triumph to win the match but more importantly seal a 3-2 triumph for China.

It may be strange that Korea are looking forward to the final after losing their group matches but ever since then the team has been showing a great run of form. There was also a lot of strength and endeavour to fight back from 2-0 against Denmark to win 3-2 before they went onto defeat Indonesia.

Korea are undoubtedly the outsiders for the final of the Thomas Cup and will need a strong performance to clinch the trophy. The Chinese men will be hoping to emulate the Chinese women who retained the Uber Cup over the same weekend and the final promises to be an intriguing and exciting affair.

If China win it will be no surprise but after the semi-finals, there is probably no result left that could shock the world of badminton. No matter who wins, if it's the continual triumphing nature of the Chinese or the rank outsiders from Korea, this years Thomas Cup has had many wonderful moments for fans and observers to partake in.

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