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Malaysia Not A Threat To US - Taufik

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 (Bernama) -- Indonesian singles ace Taufik Hidayat feels host Malaysia will not be a threat to their Thomas Cup hopes when the Thomas and Uber Cup finals start on Sunday at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Taufik, a charismatic star of the Indonesian team and no stranger to local badminton fans or the Thomas Cup competition, said Malaysia does not have a balance in its armour (singles and doubles), since it depends largely on the prowess of world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

"Malaysia just have Chong Wei but the team does not have overall strength compared with us. We may have a 51 to 49 per cent advantage against Malaysia," he told reporters upon arrival with the Indonesian squad at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang Friday.

Taufik instead, regards defending champion China as their main threat, since the Chinese have a team which has all-round strength and have been producing consistent results.

"Nonetheless, I still maintain that all the teams in the final, have a chance to win the cup," he said.

The 28-year old, Taufik, certainly qualifies for such an opinion as he had represented Indonesia in six Thomas Cup finals before and has been part of the team that captured the prestigious Thomas Cup in 2000 and 2002.

Apart from Taufik, Indonesia have listed Sony Dwi Koncoro and Simon Santoso to shoulder their singles challenge while Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan, Alvent Yulianto Chandra/Hendra Aprida Gunawan, lead the doubles charge.

Indonesia are seeded second in the competition and kick off their campaign in Group D together with Australia and India.

The Indonesians have an illustrious record of having won the Thomas Cup, 13 times, since 1949.

China, gunning for their fourth consecutive Thomas Cup, have won it seven times since 1982 while Malaysia will be hoping to repeat their 1992 triumph, incidentally when hosting the final here.

Source from BERNAMA

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