Monday, May 19, 2014
Text by Dev Sukumar | BADMINTONPHOTO
It was one-way traffic all the way for the winners in the first session today at the Li-Ning BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2014.
China were undisturbed in a 5-0 whitewash of England while Chinese Taipei overcame Russia 4-1 in Group W Uber Cup action. On the men’s side, Indonesia and Thailand had no problems in dealing with Singapore and Nigeria respectively, with identical 5-0 scores in Group A.
Although Thailand’s victory over Nigeria was never in doubt, the Nigerians did give a good account of themselves in a couple of matches. After Boonsak Ponsana started the ball rolling for the Thais with a clinical 21-15 21-7 victory over Jinkan Ifraimu Bulus, Thailand’s second singles player Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk ran into some trouble against Enejoh Abah.
Abah proved a feisty opponent against the left-hander, as he recovered from a first game loss to take the second 21-17. Saensombooonsuk did not allow the match to slide any further as he closed it out, 21-17 17-21 21-8.
Thailand clinched the tie with Suppanyu Avihingsanon cruising past Victor Makanju, 21-7 21-14. Bulus and Ola Fagbemi (right) entertained the crowd with their resistance to experienced Thai pair Sudket Prapakamol/Nipitphon Puangpuapech. For fleeting moments they matched the Thais with their robust attacking play, but were unable to prevent the inevitable, 21-16 21-16.
Fagbemi, who last played at the same venue during the Commonwealth Games, said they weren’t intimidated by the Thais.
“We are able to match their strokes. The difference is in the number of tournaments the Asian teams play. We don’t have the kind of exposure that they have. The experience though was very good.”
Chinese Taipei’s women, minus their best player Tai Tzu Ying, had suffered an upset to England yesterday. Tai (left) returned to work today and ensured there were no other surprises in store as she led the team to a one-sided win over Russia. Evgeniya Kosetskaya and Ekanerina Bolotova provided the consolation win for Russia in the first doubles, 21-23 21-17 21-12, over Wang Pei Rong/Kuo Yu Wen.
* China’s women recorded their second 5-0 result in a row, routing England without losing a game. The world’s top three women – Li Xuerui, Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan – wrapped up their contests in under 31 minutes, while the doubles pairs of Bao Yixin/Tang Jinhua and Zhao Yunlei/Wang Xiaoli took slightly longer in clearing England’s resistance.
* Indonesia’s Thomas Cup campaign started on the right track, despite their top singles player Tommy Sugiarto losing a game to Singapore’s Derek Wong. Sugiarto overcame the setback to win the contest over Wong, 21-11 17-21 21-15. Indonesia had no further problems in the rest of the tie and comeback man Simon Santoso (featured image) clinched the final point beating Lee Kwan Ting Sean 21-16 22-20.
For today’s results, click here.