KUNSHAN – Malaysia’s hopes of bringing home the Thomas Cup after a 24-year wait were shattered by Denmark who won a 3-2 thriller in the semi-final at Kunshan Sports Centre, here Friday.
This is the eighth time Denmark entered the final of the prestigious badminton tournament after 2006.
Denmark will take on Indonesia in the Thomas Cup final battle on Sunday.
Denmark last reached the final in 2006 in Japan, but lost 0-3 to China.
Malaysia’s badminton superstar, Datuk Lee Chong Wei was the pillar of the team, as he delivered the first match point and much needed impetus to the team.
Lee, the world number two player maintained his unbeaten record after defeating Viktor Axelsen 23-21, 21-18 in the first singles.
The first doubles Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong chalked a stunning victory over the Danes scratched doubles pair Mathias Boe/Mads Conrad-Petersen 21-18, 21-18.
The Danes however bridged the gap when their second singles, Hans Kristian-Vittinghus broke unbeaten record of Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin with a 18-21, 18-21.
Denmark’s second scratched doubles pair of Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen levelled the point at 2-2 when they brushed aside Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong 10-21, 21-8, 21-13.
Emil Holst won the decider match when he trounced Malaysia’s last hope Chong Wei Feng 21-15, 21-18.
Four countries have laid their hands on the Thomas Cup – Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Japan.
Malaysia have won the crown five times including thrice from 1949-1955 while Indonesia won 13 times.
Indonesia’s quest to win back the prestigious cup is on track, ending a six-year wait for a shot at the title.
Indonesia last reached the Thomas Cup final in 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, but lost 0-3 to to China.
Meanwhile, in the Uber Cup tournament, South Korea booked their final berth against the Great Wall, after crushing Japan’s dream 3-1 in a semi-final match.