TUC 2010 Final – 8th year drought for Indonesia, 8th title for China

China and Indonesia met at the Thomas Cup final for the fifth time with each team beating the other twice before China’s 3-0 sweep at the 2010 Thomas Cup final. […]

China and Indonesia met at the Thomas Cup final for the fifth time with each team beating the other twice before China’s 3-0 sweep at the 2010 Thomas Cup final. This victory extended China’s cabinet with an eighth Thomas Cup while prolonging Indonesia’s 8-year wait for the elusive Cup number 14.

By Jan Lin and Selina Ng, reporting ‘live’ in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

China’s Beijing Olympic medallists picked up the three consecutive points China needed to capture the 2010 Thomas Cup title. With a former Olympic champion and the reigning Olympic champion as male leads, a showdown between a legend and the current best in the world was to unfold.

Despite the less than flattering score line of 21-7, 21-14, Taufik’s defeat was on the whole a lot more flattering than how Lee Chong Wei collapsed at Lin Dan’s clutches in the semifinal. It was apparent that Taufik had all the right ideas but Lin Dan’s superior finesse and fitness provided all the answers.

“I’m a little disappointed to lose to Lin Dan,” said Taufik. “His technique and fitness are better than mine, and that made it very difficult for me to get points from him. In the end, I lost and I don’t have any excuse for it. I want to apologise to all Indonesians for my loss but I did try my best and no one wants to lose.”

“I think that Lin Dan is at a higher level than other players,” Taufik added. “Maybe Lee Chong Wei follows next, then Chen Jin, Bao Chunlai, Peter and me. This has to be Lin Dan’s golden era now. Maybe new players will emerge to replace him in the future but we can’t see how will it be yet. If he continues his form like this, he can be very dominating in the Olympics in 2012.”

Lin Dan (pictured left) was both gracious and modest in victory: “I believe the both of us played our best for our country. Winning or losing is not important actually, two top players playing together today is already a responsibility to our country. I do not agree that I’m on a different level compared to other players, I just put in alot of effort in every game that I play. Taufik and Lee Chong Wei have different styles of playing. I’m very satisfied with my performances against them and I also truly appreciate the opportunity to play against them here.”

“This time I did not take off my shirt [after winning the match] because I ate too much during lunch just now, it’s not suitable to show my stomach this time!”

When asked about coach Tang Hsien Hu, who had just returned to the team for the Thomas Cup after taking a sabbathical, Lin said: “Tang Hsien Hu is a very dedicated coach in the team and he is like a grandfather to me. I’ve gained more than badminton skills and techniques from him, but also values of life.”

Lin also commented about his plans after the Thomas Cup, saying: “At the end of this month, China will be having a China League and we are happy to invite all top players around the world to participate in this league.”

The Chinese defeat in the Uber Cup final yesterday seemed to have taught the Chinese men several valuable lessons. While China’s women’s doubles Olympic champion pair of Du Jing / Yu Yang lost the tie for China, the men’s doubles Olympic silver medallists won a vital point for the Thomas team. As it is, both reigning Olympic champion pairs crumbled at the 2010 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals.

In a repeat of the 2008 Olympic men’s doubles final, China’s Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng (pictured right) turned the tables on Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan with a 25-23, 16-21, 21-12 win to double their team’s lead. Despite a promising start, the independent Indonesians fell victim to unforced errors allowing the Chinese pair’s classy confidence to dominate the match’s essence.

“Our style of play is quite similar with the Indonesian pair, therefore it is impossible to control our opponents directly, making it difficult to win the first game,” said Fu Haifeng after the match. “Their playing style is actually quite unique but we’ve done our preparation to face them today.”

With Cup victory in sight, 2008 Olympic men’s singles bronze medallist, Chen Jin, then overcame a nervy first set to retain the Cup for China with a 19-21, 21-17, 21-7 win over Indonesia’s Simon Santoso (pictured left).

The Indonesian world number 12 had to step up to play in the second singles slot as compatriot Sony Kuncoro had to be benched due to a relapse of an old injury sustained during the round robin.

Even as a Cup defeat looked inevitable, Santoso went for broke to please the partisan Indonesian crowd. Indonesian fans have invaded Malaysia’s Putra Stadium and turned it into Jakarta’s Senayan Stadium.

“China played very well today and we will accept our defeat with an open heart,” said Indonesia’s team manager Yacob Rusdianto. “Even though the score was 3-0, the Indonesian players did give a good fight to their opponents before losing. As the team manager, I would like to apologise to the people in Indonesia and also to PBSI for not winning today. China were more prepared and better overall; however we’ll evaluate our team’s performance in this tournament and make necessary changes.”

“The performance of the China team was absolutely perfect in this tournament,” said China’s marshal Li Yongbo (pictured right).  Coach Li Yongbo had chosen to stay positive for his team after their Uber Cup defeat stating that it may be a good thing for the development of the sport, and so when asked whether he had thought the same had his Thomas Cup team lost in the final, he replied in jest: “Conceding one Cup is enough, not both Cups!”

When asked which player he thinks performed outstandingly throughout the tournament, coach Li Yongbo concluded with his two cents: “I noticed that those competing among themselves are still the familiar faces in badminton such as Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, Taufik, and Peter. Perhaps we’ll see more new faces after the Olympics in 2012 but for now it’s still the same players.”

We hope you have enjoyed Badzine’s ‘live’ coverage at the 2010 Thomas and Uber Cup finals, we will see you at the next event! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter if you haven’t already. To enjoy our live PHOTO GALLERY, CLICK HERE.

Live video feeds of the 2010 Thomas and Uber Cup finals can also be watched on Totalsports.tv!

About Jan Lin