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Indonesia sweeps China to claim 14th Thomas Cup title

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-10-18 09:06
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Lu Guangzu of China competes in the men's singles match against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia during the final match between China and Indonesia at Thomas Cup badminton tournament in Aarhus, Denmark, Oct 17, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua] 

AARHUS, Denmark - The Chinese men's badminton team lost three straight games in the Thomas Cup final to Indonesia, who claimed a record 14th title here on Sunday in the Ceres Arena.

The Indonesian shuttlers showed good form in all three games against defending champion China to lift the trophy, their first since 2002.

Lu Guangzu fought a good start in the opener against the 5th-ranked Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, winning the first set 21-18. However, the Chinese talent lost the following two 21-14, 21-16 as Ginting secured the first point for Indonesia.

Lu told Xinhua in the post-match interview that he was dragged into Ginting's pace and couldn't return proper shots.

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia competes in the men's singles match against Lu Guangzu of China during the final match between China and Indonesia at Thomas Cup badminton tournament in Aarhus, Denmark, Oct 17, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

"I was honored to be the first to play and I'm very grateful to have the trust from coaches and teammates," said Lu. "I tried my best to win back some points but Ginting took control of the game in the second the third set."

"I was preparing to fight Lu Guangzu or Shi Yuqi yesterday. I did not know who would show up in the opener," said Ginting. "I played Lu twice before. I supposed it would be a very tough and exciting match today because the final is so much different."

"I'm happy that I released myself from pressure. I was a bit nervous in the first set. I tried to calm down and pushed him as much as possible in the following rally, and it worked," said the top Indonesian player.

In the doubles match, Chinese pair He Jiting and Zhou Haodong lost two straight sets to Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto 21-12, 21-19, which meant Indonesia was only one win away from the eventual victory.

"Our opponents are old partners, but we are newly paired in this tournament. They did a better job today in serving, attacking, everything," said Zhou.

In the next singles match, Li Shifeng had a depressing 0-6 start in the first set against Jonatan Christie and lost 21-14. The 21-year-old Li equalized 21-18 but could not turn China's fortune around as Christie clinched the decider 21-14.

The Indonesian team keeps the highest winning record of Thomas Cup titles (14) and China has won 10 times, including five consecutive crowns from 2004 to 2012.

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