Thomas Cup: So near yet so far

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 25 May 2014

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia failed in its quest to bring back the Thomas Cup after it crashed out to Japan 3-2 in a gripping final in New Delhi, India on Sunday.

Japan clinched the winning point in the fifth and deciding game when Takuma Ueda defeated Liew Daren 21-12, 18-21, 21-17.

This is the first time that Japan has won the title, breaking the stranglehold of China, Indonesia and Malaysia.

It was Lee Chong Wei who opened winning accounts for Malaysia when he defeated Kenichi Tago in the first game 21-12, 21-16.

Japan came back in the second game when its pairing of Kenichi Hayakawa-Hiroyuki Endo beat Tan Boon Heong-Hoon Thien How in a nail-biting three-set thriller. The five-game final was tied at 1-1.

Tan-Hoon had taken the first set 21-12 against the world No 3 of Japan but lost in the second 17-21 to force the match into a rubber set.

In the decider, the two pairs matched point for point but the Japanese hung on to their lead to win 21-19.

Go V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong gave Malaysia the second point when they beat Keigo Sonoda-Takeshi Kamura with a hard-fought 19-21, 21-17, 21-12 win and tied the score at 2-2.

Then came second singles player Ken Momota who gave Japan the lead when he beat Chong Wei Feng 21-15, 21-17 to put the tie at 2-1 for Japan before Goh-Tan found the much-needed point in the second doubles.

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