A long wait of nearly two decades ended today for Indonesia with their reconquest of the Thomas Cup in Aarhus.
The Asian powerhouse had won 13 before this, but were stuck on that number since 2002. They had featured in two more finals, in 2010 and 2016, failing both times.
“I’m very happy because this is my first time, and we’ve won this after 19 years, and finally we could take it back home. I don’t know what to say, I cannot express my feelings,” said veteran campaigner Hendra Setiawan, who finally added the Thomas Cup to his list of achievements.
The Indonesians were near-perfect in their dismantling of a younger, relatively inexperienced Chinese team, who were seeking the Thomas Cup having already won the two other major team titles recently – the Sudirman Cup and the Uber Cup.
Ginting provided the breakthrough, holding off Lu Guang Zu in 77 minutes. Alfian and Ardianto’s tactical variations unsettled He Ji Ting and Zhou Hao Dong, and Indonesia were 2-0 with Jonatan Christie taking on Li Shi Feng.
Christie had played a 100-minute match against Anders Antonsen on Saturday, but he was ready for another long match. Li Shi Feng kept China’s hopes alive until midway in the third, when Christie started to wear him down with precision and control, putting in the attacking bursts at just the right moments.
There were no nervous moments, no self-doubt. And as soon as the final point was won the rest of the team flooded the arena.
“The third game I said, let’s go, let’s play 100 minutes again,” said Christie. “I just motivated myself. My last match gave me confidence. I was ready for 120 minutes again. This is my biggest achievement, bigger than my Asian Games gold.”