Monday, May 16, 2016
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Thailand’s women continued with their impressive run, completing their second victory with ease in the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2016 this morning.
Thailand, who beat Hong Kong 4-1 yesterday, had a shaky start against Bulgaria with team icon Ratchanok Intanon losing the first game to Linda Zetchiri. Once she settled down, however, Intanon gained the ascendancy to register a 17-21 21-14 21-15 victory.
Busanan Ongbumrungphan made it 2-0 beating Petya Nedelcheva and Nitchaon Jindapol edged past Mariya Mitsova in two close games, 21-19 21-19. The surprise for Bulgaria was the inability of the Stoeva sisters, Stefani and Gabriela, to wrest a point, as they went down to Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-11 21-16.
Thailand’s second doubles pair of Rawinda Prajongjai/Jongkolphan Kititharakul ensured the 5-0 whitewash.
In Uber Cup Group D, India were just as dominant over Australia. Saina Nehwal led the way beating Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen 22-20 21-14. PV Sindhu (21-12 21-11 over Joy Lai) and Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa (21-9 21-15) over Wendy Chen/Gronya Somerville ensured that India had no rude surprises in store.
Denmark began their campaign for a first-ever Thomas Cup title beating South Africa 5-0.
The Danes, in Group D, went with their big guns and the result was straight games victories in all five matches. European champion Viktor Axelsen blew past Jacob Maliekal 21-14 21-11; Jan O Jorgensen consolidated beating Cameron Coetzer 21-9 21-9 before Hans-Kristian Vittinghus demolished Andries Malan in just 21 minutes, 21-7 21-7.
Coetzer and Maliekal combined to provide some resistance to Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, going down 21-13 21-16. Mads Pieler Kolding/Mads Conrad-Petersen then finished off things beating Malan and Willem Viljoen 21-8 21-17.
Japan had had a nervous start in their Group A opener yesterday, but today they appeared more composed against Mexico, winning all their matches without dropping a game. Takuma Ueda and Kazumasa Sakai gave them a 2-0 lead beating Lino Munoz and Job Castillo respectively; Riichi Takeshita had his hands full in the second game against Luis Ramon Garrido but closed out the match in straight games, 21-10 21-18.
Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda and Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi both took 22 minutes to complete the 5-0 rout.
Group A: Japan bt Mexico 5-0; Group D: Denmark bt South Africa 5-0
Group C: Thailand bt Bulgaria 5-0; Group D: India bt Australia 5-0