Badminton: Denmark bags Europe’s maiden Thomas Cup title

Kunshan (China), May 22 (IANS) Eight-time runner-up Denmark rode on singles success to become first European team to clinch the Thomas Cup badminton title, overcoming record champion Indonesia 3-2 in the final here on Sunday.

Demark won all the three singles battles with Viktor Axelsen, Jan O Jorgensen and Hans-Kristian Vittinghus coming out triumphant to stop Indonesia from extending its record tally of 13 titles.

With this win, Denamrk became only the fifth country after Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Japan to win the prestigious badminton team title.

World No.4 Axelsen set Denmark on a roll with a 21-17, 21-18 victory in 54 minutes over No.7 Tommy Sugiarto.

World No.2 doubles pair of Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan brought Indonesia level as they got the better of No.9 pair of Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding 21-18, 21-13.

In the second singles match, world No.4 and 2015 World Championship bronze medallist Jorgensen beat world No.23 Gitning Anthony 21-17, 21-14 to help Denmark regain the lead.

Indonesia equalised soon as world No.12 pair of Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi battled past No.23 pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-16, 21-14 in 42 minutes.

With the tie locked 2-2, the final singles match proved to the decider. World No.13 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus crushed No.31 Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 21-15, 21-7 in 40 minutes to trigger celebrations in the Danish camp.

“It’s a big honour for me to play the last match in the final,” Vittinghus was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

“I had dreamed about it since we came here last week. I appreciated that my teammates made me an opportunity to win this match. Bring the Thomas Cup back to Denmark means a lot to us.”

South Korea and Malaysia won the bronze medals.

–IANS

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