Wednesday, May 18, 2016
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Denmark’s men got the better of Chinese Taipei 3-2 to emerge on top of Group D in the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2016 today.
In other action, France blanked Mexico 5-0 in Thomas Cup Group A, while in the Uber Cup, Malaysia came from behind to beat Spain 3-2 (Group A) and USA outclassed Mauritius 5-0.
Most of the attention however was on Denmark’s clash with Chinese Taipei for the group’s top placing. Viktor Axelsen powered past Chou Tien Chen in surprisingly quick time, 21-16 21-13. Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding made it 2-0 fighting off Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin 22-20 21-9.
Just when it seemed it was all going Denmark’s way, Chinese Taipei pulled off a surprise. Hsu Jen Hao gritted his way to a 13-21 21-16 21-19 victory over Jan O Jorgensen in a marathon affair that went 79 minutes.
New combination Mathias Boe and Mathias Christiansen were involved in a fierce contest with Wang Chi-Lin and Chen Hung Ling. The Taipei pair had their chances, but Denmark squeezed through in the end, 21-17 19-21 21-17.
“We all knew how important it was to win this match and top the group,” said Christiansen. “There were a lot of emotional moments during the match. It means a lot, now we are No.1 in the group. We’ve been practising a lot for the last couple of months, it’s working well now. It was about keeping our heads cool and we did that and managed to do well in the last few rallies.”
Wang Tzu Wei prevailed over Hans Kristian Vittinghus in a thriller 21-13 19-21 25-23 to reduce the margin for Chinese Taipei.
Malaysia staged a great recovery from 0-2 down to place third in their group. In the clash between World champion and World Junior champion, the teenaged Goh Jin Wei (featured image) gave a great account of her skills and temperament, pushing Carolina Marin all the way. Goh recovered from 14-17 down in the second and even had match point before Marin found a last-gasp winner to make it home: 21-18 20-22 21-16.
Beatriz Corrales made it 2-0 beating Ho Yen Mei. Malaysia then staged a recovery through Soniia Cheah’s straight-games win over Clara Azurmendi. Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean and Amelia Alicia Anscelly/Woon Khe Wei had little trouble dismantling the Spanish challenge in doubles.