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China regains Thomas & Uber Cup

2024-05-06 08:58 Xinhua

CHENGDU, China, May 5 (Xinhua) -- China's men's team reclaimed badminton's Thomas Cup after a six-year wait after beating Indonesia 3-1, while the women's team also regained the Uber Cup for the first time since 2020 after whitewashing Indonesia 3-0 here on Sunday.

This was the first time since 2012 that the same two countries played each other in both men's and women's finals.

In the Thomas Cup, world No. 2 Shi Yuqi provided a perfect start for China, taking the first set 21-17 and dominating the second 21-6 against Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.

Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang made it 2-0 by beating Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto 21-18, 17-21, 21-17 in the 64-minute doubles clash, but Jonatan Christie prevented Indonesia from being whitewashed, beating Li Shifeng 21-16, 15-21, 21-17.

Li took five points in a row from 18-11 down but failed to cut the deficit in the decider against the newly-crowned Asian champion.

In the following second doubles, He Jiting and Ren Xiangyu delivered the final victory for China with a commanding 21-11, 21-15 win over Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana.

"I have a lot of responsibility and pressure as captain, but fortunately I made a good start," said Shi.

"The team event was a valuable experience and we met a lot of strong pairs. We were in good form today and felt happy to contribute to the team," Liang and Wang added.

With the championship sealed, China has now claimed a total of 11 titles in the biennial tournament, trailing Indonesia's 14.

In the morning, China's women's team claimed its 16th Uber Cup title, beating Indonesia within three hours.

Olympic champion Chen Yufei spearheaded the singles action as she defeated Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 21-7, 21-16.

World No. 1 Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan put China 2-0 up with a 21-11, 21-8 win over Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti and Ribka Sugiarto in the doubles clash.

In the following second singles, Indonesian teenager Ester Nurumi Tri took the first set 21-10, but He Bingjiao recovered to seal the triumph 21-15, 21-17.

"I am ready to take on anybody. I am confident and in pretty good form," said Chen Yufei, who hadn't dropped a single set en route to the crowning moment.

It was also a historic day for the Indonesians, as they helped their team reach the final for the first time since 2008.

"We reached the final after 16 years. It wasn't easy but we have proven our strength," Tunjung said. "This tournament is set to make us better prepared for the Olympic Games."

Japan and South Korea shared the Uber Cup bronze medal, while the men's bronze medals went to Malaysia and Chinese Taipei.

The international badminton championships took place in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province from April 27 to May 5. ■