Denmark beat Indonesia to win first Thomas Cup title
KUNSHAN (China)—Denmark beat Indonesia 3-2 in the Thomas Cup final Sunday, securing the nation’s first world badminton team championship after racking up eight second-place finishes over the decades.
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus led the Danes to victory in the fifth and final match of the tie on the back of strong singles performances from fourth-ranked Viktor Axelsen and world number five Jan O. Jorgensen. Denmark is the first European nation to win the Thomas Cup.
“Ever since we came here, since last week, I’ve been dreaming about b eing the deciding factor in a final,” said Vittinghus. “I really appreciate that my teammates put me in this position where I had a chance to win the cup for Denmark.”
In the opening match, European champ Axelsen kicked off the final by controlling the net as he exploited his height with smashing overheads and diving saves to take the first game.
World number eight Tommy Sugiarto grabbed the early lead in the second, but the Dane proved too strong, clinching the match 21-17, 21-18.
Following the win, Axelsen sprinted to the sidelines, tossing his shirt and racket into the roaring audience—a scene that would repeated by his teammates with each successive win.
“I was really nervous during the game, but I managed to stay calm in the end and that’s why I won,” said Axelsen.
Second-ranked doubles team Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan evened the score and halted Denmark’s momentum with a 21-18, 21-13 over Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding.—AFP
KUNSHAN: Players of Denmark celebrating during award cereming after defeating team Indonesia in final at Thomas Cup Badminton Championship.