Badminton Life

Way Of The Dragon: China Wins 2010 Thomas Cup

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 (Bernama) -- Like the mythological fire-breathing dragon, defending champion China white-washed Indonesia 3-0 in a smouldering yet fiery performance in the Thomas Cup finals at Putra Stadium here Sunday.

The Great Wall team stamped its mark of supremacy to keep the coveted men's team trophy at home for the eight time, four in the row since 2004.

The top seeds sealed their victory through their third singles Chen Jin who defeated Simon Santoso after Lin Dan and Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng gave a comfortable 2-0 tie lead.

The much-anticipated epic battle between Beijing Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan and Athens Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat was an anti-climax as the Indonesian failed to match the Chinese's speed and net play.

World No. 2 Lin Dan took 60 minutes to tame world number five, Taufik, 21-7, 21-14.

In the first set, Taufik just followed Lin Dan's tempo, trailing 1-5, 2-11, 7-20 and a drop shot by the Chinese concluded the set for 7-21.

In the second set, Lin Dan was leading 9-6 and 14-11. Taufik tried to crawl back but it was too late. The Chinese sealed it with 21-14.

"Both of us were trying very hard to win our game, to open the path for others in the squad," said Lin Dan.

Taufik said he tried to open up the match but Lin Dan was simply too strong.

"I was not pressured. I tried to make him run all over the court but he was there to return the shuttle. It's just not my day," added the Indonesian.

Lin Dan's victory was a shot-in-the-arm for the Chinese first doubles, Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng who edged Indonesia's top duo, Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan 25-23, 16-21, 21-12 in 59 minutes.

The Chinese duo however, were given a run for the money when the Indonesian pairs managed to steal a set.

As the Chinese were leading comfortably in the first set, 5-1, 11-7, the Indonesian crawled back and managed to level the tie for 22-22 but their unforced errors caused Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng to seal a victory.

In the second set, the Indonesian duo were leading all the way and sealed it 21-16.

After a two-minute breather, the Chinese pair came back stronger in the rubber set, leading all the way to conclude the match at 21-12.

While Markis said both he and his partner lost steam, especially in the rubber match, Cai Yun said the Indonesian pair were hard to fight because both teams deployed similar tactics.

"Our tactics and technics are similar. That's why we had to double our effort to beat them," he said.

World number three singles, Chen Jin justified his seeding, beating world number 12, Simon Santoso 19-21, 21-17, 21-7 in 73 minutes.

In the rubber-match, the Indonesian was out of steam, trailing 3-11, 5-15, 7-19 before Chen Jin added another two points to seal China's victory.

"Chen Jin was more composed than me...and I made so many unforced errors," he said.

Yesterday however, China lost the Uber Cup trophy after South Korea pulled an upset, taming the Great Wall women's team 3-1 in the final.

Although the Thomas Cup tournament began in 1948, China only joined the fray in 1982, winning that year's edition in London when it beat Indonesia 5-4, and continuing their domination in 1986, 1988, 1990, 2004, 2006 and 2008.

In the last edition in Jakarta in 2006, China beat South Korea 3-1.

Indonesia has captured the coveted Cup 13 times, the last being at the 2002 edition in Guangzhou, China after beating Malaysia 3-2 in the finals.

The host for the 2012 Thomas Cup will be known by early next year when the Badminton World Federation open the bids for the host this September.

Source from BERNAMA

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