Badminton: Indonesia dominate China to claim Thomas Cup trophy

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (pictured) of Indonesia survived a marathon opening tie before outlasting China's Lu Guangzu. PHOTO: REUTERS

AARHUS (Xinhua) - Almost two decades of pain and heartbreak finally ended on Sunday (Oct 17) for Indonesian badminton as the men's team captured the Thomas Cup, beating fierce rivals and defending champions China 3-0 in a tense but ultimately one-sided final.

This was Indonesia's 20th appearance in the showpiece finale and a record-extending 14th title.

Their last triumph though was in 2002, after losses in 2010 (3-0 to China) and 2016 (3-2 to Denmark).

This time, at the Ceres Arena in the Danish city of Aarhus, there was no falling at the final hurdle as Indonesia exacted revenge for that 2010 defeat as well as final losses to the Chinese in 1982 and 1986.

Tokyo 2020 bronze medalllist and world No. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting survived a marathon opening tie before outlasting Lu Guangzu 18-21, 21-14, 21-16 in 77 minutes to give Indonesia the lead.

Seventh-ranked doubles pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto were next and showed their class, taking out He Jiting and Zhou Haodong 21-12, 21-19 to extend Indonesia's advantage.

Never had a country recovered from a 2-0 deficit to win in the final and despite world No. 65 Li Shifeng's brave resistance in the second singles match, he could not overcome seventh-ranked Jonatan Christie.

The 2018 Asian Games champion won 21-14, 18-21, 21-14 and was immediately engulfed by his teammates who had rushed onto the court in wild celebration.

There was some consolation for China however, as their women's team rallied past defending champions Japan 3-1 to claim their 15th Uber Cup on Saturday.

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