KUNSHAN: Denmark created history by winning the Thomas Cup Finals for the first time.
After crashing out in eight previous finals since the tournament’s inception in 1949, Denmark finally got their acts right by beating fancied Indonesia 3-2 in the final to become the first European country to win the world team title.
They are only the fifth nation to win the Thomas Cup.
And the hero of the day on Sunday was Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.
The 30-year-old Vittinghus stayed calm throughout the match to beat an inexperienced 21-year-old Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 21-15, 21-7 in the decider and wild celebration erupted in Denmark’s camp.
Earlier, Denmark had won two points through Viktor Axelsen and Jan O Jorgensen. Indonesia's two points came through their doubles players - Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan and Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi.
1.20pm: Viktor Axelsen bt Tommy Sugiarto 21-17, 21-18 (54 minutes)
First game: Axelsen started the brighter of the two and had his nose in front for much of the game. Tommy kept within striking distance but only managed to save one game point before the young Dane powered ahead 21-17.
Second game: The more experience Tommy was fighting hard to keep his team in the game and surged ahead 13-8 and 18-15 as Axelsen looked a little jittery this time. Yet it was Axelsen who appeared calmer when it mattered as he scored six straight points to take the second 21-18 and hand Denmark a 1-0 lead.
2.10pm: Mads Pieler Kolding-Mads Conrad Petersen lost to Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 18-21, 13-21 (41 minutes)
First game: Kolding who was rested in the semi-final tie against Malaysia returned to partner Petersen. The world No.9 had a bright start against world champs Ahsan-Hendra leading 13-8 and 17-15 at one point. But the Indonesians have been improving in every game and they showed their class to take the first 21-18.
Second game: Simply one-way traffic as the Danes had no answer to Ahsan-Hendra. The Indonesian world No.2 powered their way to win 21-13 and level the match at 1-1 with Denmark.
3pm: Jan O Jorgensen bt Anthony Ginting 21-17, 21-12 (44 minutes)
First game: Jorgensen has been largely below par the whole tournament. But he banked on his experience to take the early lead against 20-year-old Anthony. The Indonesian world No.23 staged a comeback late in the game but it was not enough prevent Jorgensen from taking it 21-17.
Second game: Jorgensen truly came alive in this game and he offered Anthony no space to operate. The Dane covered his ground well and ran away with an easy 21-12 game to put Denmark 2-1 up.
3.50pm: Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen lost to Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi 16-21, 14-21 (42 minutes)
First game: The Danish world No.23 pair started with intention as they looked to close out the contest and led 7-1 in the early stages. World No.12 Angga-Ricky had far too much firepower and they slowly bade their time before taking the game 21-16.
Second game: Angga-Ricky continued where they left off as they bombarded Astrup-Rasmussen with a variety of shots. The Danes tried hard to force their way back but they were simply out of ideas as the Indonesians took the second 21-14 to send the match into the deciding third single.
Han-Kristian Vittinghus bt Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 21-15, 21-7
First game: In a battle between an experienced Vittinghus and youngster Ihsan, the Dane showed that his years of experience mattered. He stayed calm and collected throughout the match to take the opener 21-15. There were moments when the 21-year-old Ihsan showed gutsy showing and even pulled off some trick shots but Vittinghus was hardly troubled. He stayed in control to nick the game.
Second game: Indonesia was banking on Ihsan to rise up but he caved in under pressure. He made plenty of errors and that gave Vittinghus more confidence to bull doze his way to seal the tie with a sensational 21-7 win. He screamed in delight and his teammates just rushed into court to celebrate together. The long wait was worth for the country that have been persistent in winning the team world title all these years.
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