TUC 2010 Day 1 – Nigerians no show while Danes dump Poles

The evening session on Day One of the Thomas and Uber Cups Finals saw the big guns in the world of badminton breeze through their opening ties with identical scores […]

The evening session on Day One of the Finals saw the big guns in the world of badminton breeze through their opening ties with identical scores of 5-0. Home team, Malaysia however, accomplished it in a different style without even having to play on court

By Selina Ng, Badzine correspondent, live from Putra Stadium, Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Malaysians fans, who were eagerly awaiting to cheer on the home team, were left disappointed when they did not have the chance to watch their local heroes play on court on the very first day of the Thomas Cup competition.

In a press conference involving Badminton World Federation (BWF) chief executive officer Thomas Lund and tournament referee Mojmir Hnilica from the Czech Republic, Malaysia were declared 5-0 winners when the Nigerian team failed to show up at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil for their Thomas Cup Group B opening tie.

“We have been informed that the Nigerian team had problems with their flights when their original flight from Abuja via Dubai was cancelled. Nigeria’s fate in the competition will be decided after further discussions by the BWF and the tournament referees later tonight or latest by tomorrow morning,” said Lund.

Apparently, the Nigerian players and the officials have taken two different flights to Kuala Lumpur. The officials managed to arrive this afternoon but the players were stuck as their flight was cancelled.

“We cannot confirm whether the players have boarded the flight or not. Right now, we do not have information on where they are because we couldn’t contact them. There is a rule that states that teams must arrive at the venue 48 hours before it starts for the team managers meeting. However, this is an unexpected situation and Nigeria did inform us about their problem. When there is a valid reason given by the team, the referee has the power to decide on the consequences for the team,” said Hnilica.

The no-show by the Nigerian team meant that the Malaysian Thomas Cup team will only be in action on Tuesday against the dangerous Japanese side. As it is, Chief coach Rashid Sidek was not happy with this situation as he is concerned that Malaysia will only get to play on the third day of the competition.

“I wanted the players to get the feel of the stadium and the environment. I also wanted the players to get the match exposure, but we will not get this until we play Japan. We have no choice but to continue with our training. I would have very much preferred our players get into action on the first day of the competition as it would have put them in the right frame to face a stronger team like Japan,” said Rashid.

While Malaysia won without literally breaking sweat, the other matches of the night were a breeze for the power houses as well. In the Thomas Cup Group C tie, Denmark (pictured top) received little resistance from Poland as they won all their matches in straight games.

The only Thomas Cup tie of the night had full attention of the crowd who cheered whenever a good rally was on display. Peter Hoeg Gade paved the way for his team in the first singles by beating Przemyslaw Wacha 21-9 21-9 in 26 minutes. With the absence of Robert Mateusiak, Poland tried to give a fight in the first men’s doubles through Adam Cwalina-Michal Logosz, but it was still insufficient as they lost 15-21 15-21 to Carsten Mogensen-Mathias Boe. Jan O Jorgensen, Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen, and Joachim Persson then went on to complete the rout for Denmark to register a 5-0 score line against Europe’s second best team, Poland.

Over in the Uber Cup Group D tie, South Korea blasted South Africa away with every match finishing in less than 20 minutes. South Africa who only had four players in their team had to field the same players in the singles and doubles matches. Their fatigue and inexperience showed in the matches as they were all beaten with scores of under-10 except for Stacey Doubell who lost 8-21 10-21 to Bae Youn Joo in the second singles.

In the other singles, Sung Ji Hyun beat Kerry-Lee Harrington 21-9 21-9 while Lee Yun Hwa outgunned Jade Morgan 21-3 21-5. In the doubles, Jung Kyung Eun / Jang Ye Na were too good for Michelle Edwards / Kerry-Lee Harrington, winning 21-8 21-8, while Kim Min Jung / Ha Jung Eun beat Jade Morgan / Stacey Doubell in an equally convincing fashion, 21-7 21-8.

The other Uber Cup tie featured defending champions China who whitewashed USA 5-0 as their star-studded players outplayed their opponents easily.

Newly crowned BWF Female Player of the Year, Wang Yihan got the ball rolling for the favourites when she defeated Rena Wang 21-2 21-9. While the other China singles players Wang Xin and Wang Shixian (pictured right) also won their matches with ease. The formidable Chinese pairs of Ma Jin / Wang Xiaoli and Tian Qing / Pan Pan also won their doubles matches to seal the opening tie victory for China.

Badzine is reporting ‘live’ at the 2010 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Kuala Lumpur! Check back for our daily news updates and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For complete results from Day 1 of the 2010 Thomas and Uber Cups, CLICK HERE

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