Saturday, 10 May 2014 | MYT 8:23 PM
Final list of entries for Thomas Cup and Uber Cup released
Cai Yun (left) of China is among the notable absentees for the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25.
PETALING JAYA: Seasoned singles campaigners Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia and South Korean Lee Hyun-il along with doubles specialist Cai Yun of China are among the notable absentees for the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25.
The final list of entries for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup were released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday. Except for Cai Yun’s exclusion, there were no surprises in the China team with Lin Dan being included in the 10-man squad.
Sony, the 2004 Athens Olympics bronze medallist and a silver medallist at the 2007 World Championships, was Indonesia’s first singles player in his Thomas Cup appearances in 2008 and 2010. He has only played one tournament – the All-England – this year.
Thirteen-time winners Indonesia have opted to field a young squad.
Tommy Sugiarto, the Malaysian Open runner-up, is their first singles choice followed by Dionysius Hayam Rumbaka and veteran Simon Santoso.
Taking over Sony’s place is teenager Ihsan Maulana Mustofa. At 18, Ihsan is the youngest player in the team. He won a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in Bangkok last year.
Hyun-il, a former world No. 1, made a comeback this year but never managed to regain his form to stake a place in the Korean team.
He played first singles for the Koreans in the 2008 Finals.
Like Hyun-il, Lin Dan also laid off the game for a while to pursue his other interests. But he returned strongly after an eight-month hiatus to win back-to-back titles – the China Masters GP Gold and Asian Championships – last month.
Cai Yun’s omission, however, has raised a few eyebrows. He and Fu Haifeng are the reigning Olympic men’s doubles champions.
Haifeng, however, will be on the plane to New Delhi next week.
Cai Yun and Haifeng are playing with younger partners now. But based on results, Cai Yun has done better. He partnered Lu Kai to win the Singapore Open last month while Haifeng’s best result is a runner-up finish in January’s Korea Open with Hong Wei.
Malaysia’s Thomas-Uber Cup project leader Rashid Sidek was not surprised to see China include Lin Dan.
“No country would want to leave a player like Lin Dan out of the team. I am sure China will again sacrifice a player to make way for him at the World Championships in Copenhagen later this year,” said Rashid.
Group A: Indonesia (Tommy Sugiarto, Dionysius Hayam Rumbaka, Simon Santoso, Ihsan Maulana Mustofa, Ryan Agung Saputra, Angga Pratama, Ricky Karanda, Berry Angriawan, Hendra Setiawan, Mohammad Ahsan); Thailand (Boonsak Ponsana, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Suppanyu Avihingsanon, Thammasin Sitthikom, Patiphat Chalardchaleam, Maneepong Jongjit, Wannawat Ampunsuwan, Sudket Prapakamol, Nipitphon Puangpuapech); Nigeria; Singapore.
Group B: Japan (Kenichi Tago, Kento Momota, Sho Sasaki, Takuma Ueda, Takeshi Kamura, Hirokatsu Hashimoto, Keigo Sonoda, Noriyasu Hirata, Hiroyuki Endo, Kenichi Hayakawa); Denmark (Jan Jorgensen, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, Viktor Axelsen, Emil Holst, Carsten Mogensen, Mads Pieler Kolding, Kim Astrup Sorensen, Joachim Fischer Nielsen, Mads Conrad-Petersen, Mathias Boe); Hong Kong; England.
Group C: Malaysia (Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren, Goh Soon Huat, Tan Boon Heong, Goh V Shem, Lim Khim Wah, Chan Peng Soon, Hoon Thien How, Tan Wee Kiong); South Korea (Son Wan-ho, Lee Dong-keun, Hwang Jong-soo, Park Sung-min, Shin Baek-choel, Kim Sa-rang, Ko Sung-hyun, Kim Ki-jung, Yoo Yeon-seong, Lee Yong-dae); Germany; India.
Group D: China (Chen Long, Du Pengyu, Tian Houwei, Lin Dan, Fu Haifeng, Hong Wei, Chai Biao, Liu Xiaolong, Zhang Nan, Qiu Zihan); Taiwan (Chou Tien-chen, Hsu Jen-hao, Lin Yu-hsien, Shih Kuei-chun, Chen Hung-ling, Tseng Min-hao, Lu Chia-pin, Tsai Chia-hsin, Lee Sheng-mu, Liao Min-chun); Russia; France.