Chinese Taipei have never qualified for the Thomas Cup semifinals in their four appearances at the tournament.
And having been part of every single of those failed campaigns, their leading men’s singles player Chou Tien Chen is not willing to extend the wait any longer.
Following his 21-19 13-21 21-17 win over Lakshya Sen of India in the final Group C match yesterday, Chou made his intentions clear.
“We will try everything because we have never made the semifinals, that’s our goal,” said the 32-year-old. “We have a good chance (this time), we need to make use of it and fight.”
Chou’s conquering of Sen set Chinese Taipei on their way to a 3-2 win, which guaranteed them top spot in a Thomas Cup group for the very first time.
Their debut in 2014 ended in group stage and they lost in the quarterfinals to Malaysia and China at the ensuing editions. Last year in Aarhus, they again failed to get out of their group.
In Bangkok, Chinese Taipei’s formidable line-up – with Wang Tzu Wei and Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han complementing a squad led by Chou and Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallists Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin – has shown signs its best players are approaching top form.
Asked if this represents their best chance of going all the way, Chou reiterated: “We are one of the four seeded teams so we have a higher chance of course but we lost every time in the quarterfinals. We want to capture it (semifinal spot) first.
“We want to get the confidence (needed to lift the trophy) so it’s one step at a time. I don’t know if this is the strongest we have been but we are now all more experienced.”
“Every team has a strong lineup, the advantage we have is we are all eager to do our part. This is a very united team,” said Lu.
Yang added: “Chou is always the first to play and we learn from the way he prepares. He keeps his focus regardless of his opponent. We learn a lot from him.”
Chinese Taipei have been drawn to play Japan in the quarterfinals today.