KUNSHAN: IT’s party time for Denmark as their three singles players powered the team to break their Thomas Cup jinx in China.
Despite appearing in eight previous finals, Denmark were never champions. But at the Kunshan Sports Centre Gymnasium on Sunday, Viktor Axelsen, Jan Jorgensen and Hans-Kristian Vittinghus won their ties to steer Denmark to a 3-2 win over 13-time champions Indonesia. It was first-ever triumph for a European team since the Cup’s inception in 1949.
The 30-year-old Vittinghus was mobbed by his jubilant team-mates after his 21-15, 21-7 win over Indonesian youngster Ihsan Maulana Mustofa in the deciding third singles.
Axelsen set things rolling for the Danes when he outplayed Tommy Sugiarto 21-17, 21-18 in 54 minutes in the first singles.
Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan, however, won the first doubles against Mads Pieler Kolding-Mads Conrad-Petersen 21-18, 21-13 to put Indonesia on level terms.
Jan Jorgensen, who missed the Danes’ 3-2 semi-final win over Malaysia due to a hip injury, made a fiery comeback by beating Anthony Ginting 21-17, 21-12 in the second singles.
Indonesia forced the Danes into playing a tense decider after Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi easily overcame Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-16, 21-14 in the second doubles.
But Vittinghus kept a cool head to clinch the title for Denmark, who failed in the past despite having great stars like Erland Kops, Morten Frost and Peter-Gade Christensen.
“We are going to celebrate with lots of beers, champagne, shouting and dancing,” said a jubilated Jorgensen.
“It’s an unreal experience for us. Everyone put up a tremendous effort this week and we came through tough moments. It was team effort that brought us this success,” added Jorgensen.
Vittinghus was over the moon to be part of the historic team.
“I appreciate what my team members did to put me in the best position. I think I played one heck of a match. It’s a wonderful feeling to be in now ... to bring the Thomas Cup back to our country,” said Vittinghus.
Indonesian technical director Rexy Mainaky said his charges tried their best but was unable to handle the pressure.
“Anthony played well until this tie. He was not so good in the second singles. Except for Tommy, the others do not have the experience,” lamented Rexy.