KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 – The drums are still beating and the celebration vibrations are still being felt in Indonesia after dethroning China 3-0 in the final played in the Danish City of Aarhus on Sunday.
It ended Indonesia’s 19-year wait to regain the prestigious silverware for the men’s team championships they last won in 2002.
Indonesia did reach the final in 2010 and 2016 but ended up playing second fiddle on both occasion.
World No. 7 Jonatan Christie was the man of the hour at Ceres Arena when he clinched Indonesia winning point for an unassailable 3-0 lead.
The Asian Games champion in 2018 (he also won the SEA Games gold in 2017), was super fit with tons of energy when he downed Li Shi Feng – hailed as China’s next star in the making with a 21-14, 18-21, 21-16 in an absorbing 82-minute battle.
For the record, Christie endured a 100 minute battle against Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in the semi-finals.
He came through the endurance 25-23, 15-21, 23-21 and this would not have come at a better time – a timely booster to his confidence.
The 2018 Asian Games gold medalist, who also won the 2017 SEA Games gold, had a rather topsy-turvy run in the Sudirman Cup (mixed team) in Vantaa, Finland, turned out to be ace in the pack for Indonesia.
He brought out the best in his game in the Thomas Cup semi-finals and the final. He was mobbed by his teammates after clinching the winning point.
Indonesia had ended a painful 19-year wait. Indonesia celebrated while China was left crest fallen.
The 14th Thomas Cup title means a new chapter in the history of Indonesian badminton. Aarhus will be remembered by the Indonesian team. The figure 13 was rather painful for Indonesia but expect a new journey for the team from now on.
The joy and celebrations that followed at the Ceres Arena. For skipper, veteran Hendra Setiawan, who has won every other badminton title in his illustrious badminton career, no words can describe what he felt when he lifted the silverware.
Everything went right for Indonesia in the final. The Indonesians juggled their line-ups and when Anthony Sinisuka Ginting took the first point in his come-from-behind 18-21, 21-14, 21-16 win over Lu Guang Zu in 77 minutes, it boosted their morale and confidence.
Indonesia promoted their third ranked doubles pair Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto to play first doubles.
The pair showed no jitters and the “promotion” worked as the World No 7 took only 43 minutes to down He Ji Ting-Zhou Hao Dong 21-12, 21-18. Indonesia 2-0 up.
The rest is history as Christie whose win gave Indonesia an unassailable 3-0 win.