China wins the Thomas Cup at First Attempt08 January, 2018
The first Thomas Cup to be concluded at a non-Asian venue since the inaugural contest in 1949 proved to be as exciting as predicted and produced one of the great finals.
China won a great tie and took home to Peking the famous silver trophy which has become known as the 'symbol of world supremacy' - but only just.
The Inter-zone and Final ties were played in England from May 10 to 21, but unlike in Indonesia, were organized at four different venues around England - Huddersfield, Gloucester, Preston and Birmingham before everyone moved to London for the Final at the Royal Albert Hall. The logistics of moving teams and supporters around and of conducting the draws for the next tie were difficult to arrange, but worked well, due in no small way to the enthusiastic and constantly obliging Jack Stalker and bus crews.
The ten days opened at Huddersfield with Denmark facing Japan, but without Morten Frost and Jens Peter Nierhoff -sidelined by a racket contract dispute and examinations respectively. There was a question mark against Danish will to win, but this was quickly dispelled by Steen Fladberg. Although losing the opening match to Kinji Zeniya, he fought all the way and showed his teammates what was possible. Claus Andersen levelled the tie, but Denmark slipped behind again when Delfs and Skovgaard had a disaster against Tsuchida and Miyamori. Once again, Fladberg to the rescue. With JesperHelledie, he played three long games - and good games too to narrowly beat Tsuji and the popular 'Nobby' Ikeda. Two all. The second evening saw Delfs and Fladberg put Denmark into a 4-2 lead and despite a great effort by Zeniya, the Danes came through 5-4 after some excellent Badminton.
The heroes for Japan were Zeniya, Tsuchida and Miyamori and for Denmark, Delfs and the battling Fladberg.
Down the motorway to Gloucester to join the Malaysian students in their gloriously noisy support of their team against their hosts, England. The weather was more like Kuala Lumpur than Gloucestershire and a late decision by Malaysian TV to take the tie live to Malaysia added to the tension. As things turned out, the tie was a classic. England split Tredgett and Dew and Malaysia relied on the Sidek brothers. Misbun opened against Nick Yates and outlasted him in three long games - although he had to wait for quite a long time between rallies as a tired Yates took maximum advantage of every second. Steve Baddeley quickly put England on level terms and gave notice of things to come. The English doubles partnerships won one and lost one and an increasingly noisy English crowd looked forward to the morrow.
The second day began with a really great match between Razif Sidek and Ray Stevens. The veteran Stevens won the first game, lost the second and became involved in a marvellous third game. The rallies were long: net cords were played and retrieved and after 1 hour and 42 minutes, the young Malaysian just came through 18-16, Baddeley and Yates took England ahead. Baddeley in particular having a virtually free run against Misbun Sidek. The All-England Champions squared the tie for Malaysia, but there was never really much doubt about Dew and Bridge winning the last match. A truly marvellous tie and one which may just have changed the behaviour patterns of English supporters for years to come.
The two semi-finals were one-sided. The Danes offered little resistance to China in Preston's beautiful Guildhall and were left to wonder what might have been - with Frost and Nierhoff. At Birmingham, Rudy Hartono appeared for Indonesia, which is always good news - and England struggled manfully against the odds. Steve Baddeley in particular showed just how promising a singles player he is. He must remember, however, that there is considerable skill in keeping the shuttle in play rather than pounding it out the back and claiming the bird to be 'toofast'. Fast shuttles seemed to suit his net play and fine angled smash - he will learn, 8-1 to both China and Indonesia and on to London.
The Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful place to play and to present top-class Badminton - and the final displayed all that is good in the game. It should be a less onto all that in the most important tie played in the Thomas Cup for many years, the court behaviour of the players and the sportsmanship shown was marvellous.
Liem Swie King opened for Indonesia against Chen Changjie and always seemed to have a little bit in hand despite some trouble in judging the baseline. Han Jian easily levelled the scores against Lius Pongoh and the battle of the doubles pairings began. Kartono and Rudy Heryanto beat LuanJin and Lin Jiangli in three games the match which many people thought would give the trophy to Indonesia. Luan Jin is a great player - but he could not quite pull off a victory for China in the face of some great defending and consistent play from the young Indonesians.
Indonesia had selected Christian and Liem Swie King as their second doubles pairing. Christian is the supreme doubles player of the last 15 years and, when paired with a man with a world-class smash, he is almost unbeatable. Sun Zhian and Yao Ximing tried hard, but could not match Indonesian brilliance, 3-1 to Indonesia - but was it enough? The final evening was a great evening for Badminton. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were presented to both teams - a great thrill for the young players of both teams and for the 6,000 spectators. Indonesia had asked a lot of Rudy Hartono. One of the really great players, Rudy (a new IBF Council member that morning) had trained hard, but despite flashes of the old brilliance, found that Luan Jin was just too fast and hard-hitting. This was Rudy's last match - and the crowd saluted an incredible champion, athlete and sportsman. 3-2 to Indonesia - and the top singles match to follow. Those of us who watched it, including an insistent Prince Philip, will never forget it. Han Jian and Liem Swie King produced the kind of Badminton and the kind of match which makes our game what it is. That
Han Jian won 15-12,11-15, 17-14 is a matter of record. What is not on record is the quality of defending from the most popular Chinese player and the unbelieveable net play from both men. A great match in every way - and this writer had the pleasure later in the evening of introducing Han Jian to Mrs Betty Uber and that most gracious of ladies added her own tribute to all the others paid to both players on their fine performance.
Chen Changjie then beat Lius Pongoh in two games, but only 18-17 in the first, and China had won three singles matches to take the lead for the first time. Sun Zhian and Yao Ximing predictably won the first but lost the second game before producing irresistible Badminton to take the Cup to China. In the last match, Christian and Liem Swie King made the score 5-4 in another display of immaculate doubles play.
The trophy was presented and paraded by China amid scenes of congratulation from the great Indonesian team and warm applause from the crowd. Nobody could remember a team winning the first four matches on the second night to win the Thomas Cup and few people could remember a better night's Badminton.
EUROPEAN ZONE FINAL - Copenhagen, February 17-18, 1982
DENMARK 8 SWEDEN 1
Morten Frost beat Thomas Kilhstrom 15-4, 15-8 and Stefan Karlsson 15-4, 15-1.
Jens Peter Nierhoff beat Stefan Karlsson 15-8, 15-3 and Thomas Kihlstrom 3-0 Retired.
Flemming Delfs beat Sture Johnsson 15-5,15-6.
Morten Frost/Steen Fladberg beat Claes Nordin/Stefan Karlsson 18-17, 15-16 and lost to Thomas Kihlstrom/Lars Wengberg 11-15, 7-15.
Jens Peter Nierhoff/Jesper Helledie beat Claes Nordin/Stefan Karlsson 15-11, 15-5 and Chr. Lundberg/Lars Wengberg 15-4, 15-10.
PAN AMERICAN ZONE - Pomona, California, February 27-28, 1982
USA 6 MEXICO 3
T Alston lost to F de Ia Torre 12-15, 15-10, 15-4.
C Kinard lost to R Diaz Gonzales 15-12, 15-1.
J Britton/G Higgins beat V Jaramillo/ J Palazuelos 17-14, 15-7.
G Shelstad/M Walker beat R Diaz Gonzales/E Tapia 15-4, 15-11.
G Higgins beat E Tapia 15-9, 15-5.
T Alston lost to R Diaz Gonzales 15-11, 15-10.
C Kinard beat F de Ia Torre 15-9, 15-3.
G Shelstad/M Walker beat V Jaramillo/Palazuelos 15-9, 15-9.
J Britton/G Higgins beat R Diaz Gonzales/E Tapia 15-7, 15-9.
Kitchener, Ontario, January 30-31, 1982
JAPAN 8 CANADA 1
K Zeniya beat K Priestman 15-10, 16-18, 15-5.
H Hasegawa beat J Goss 18-17, 8-15, 15-5.
M Tsuchida/S Miyamori lost to B MacDougall/M Freitag 8-15, 15-10, 17-14.
T Tsuji/H Nishiyama beat Keith Priestman/Ken Priestman 15-8, 18-16.
H Nishiyama beat B MacDougall 15-7, 15-8.
H Hasegawa beat K Priestman 9-15, 15-10, 15-6.
K Zeniya beat J goss 15-3, 15-8.
T Tsuji/H Nishiyama beat B MacDougall/M Freitag 15-8, 15-2.
M Tsuchida/S Miyamori beat K Preistman/K Priestman 15-6, 15-11.
Claremont, California, April 3-4, 1982
JAPAN 8 USA 1
K Zeniya beat C Kinard 15-10, 15-9.
H Hasegawa beat T Alston 15-8, 15-0.
S Miyamori/M Tsuchida beat G Shelstad/M Walker 15-7, 15-5.
T Tsuji/K Zeniya lost to J Britton/G Higgins 11-15, 14-18.
H Hasegawa beat C Kinnard 15-9, 15-5.
M Tsuchida beat G Higgins 12-15, 15-9, 15-5.
K Zeniya beat T Alston 15-7, 15-4.
S Miyamori/M Tsuchida beat J Britton/ G Higgins 15-10, 15-5.
K Zeniya/H Hasegawa(substitute) beat G Shelsted/M Walker 15-11, 4-15, 15-6.
ASIAN ZONE FINAL - Bangkok, March 4-5, 1982
CHINA 7 THAILAND 2
Han Jian beat Udom Leungpetcharaporn 15-9, 15-10.
Chen Changjie beat Akraporn Sriratanakul 15-10, 15-5.
Yao Ziming/Sun Zhian beat Surapong Suharitdamrong/Pinit Boonoon 15-11, 15-5.
Luan Jin/Yang Kesen lost to Sakchai Thanasrivanichai/Kriengsak Trivekin 18-16, 7-15, 12-15.
LuanJin beat Surapong Suharitdam 11-15, 15-8, 15-13.
Chen Changhie beat Udom Leungpetcharaporn 15-8, 15-12.
Han Jian beat Akraporn Sriratanakul 15-10, 15-12.
Luan Jin/Yang Kesen lost to Surapong Suharitdamrong/Pinit Boonoon 15-17, 12-15.
Yao Ximing/Sun Zhian beat Sakchai Thanasrivanichai/Kriengsak Trivekin 15-10, 15-7.
INTER-ZONE TIE - 1st Round Huddersfield, May 10-11, 1982
DENMARK 5 JAPAN 4 (Danish names first)
Steen Fladberg lost to Kinji Zeniya 15-1, 9-15, 5-15.
Claus B. Anderson beat Kiroyuki Hasegawa 15-9, 15-2.
Steen Skovgaard/Flemming Delfs lost to Masao Tsuchida/Shokichi Miyamori 10-15, 8-15
Jesper Helledie/Steen Fladberg beat Mobutaka Ikeda/Toshihiro Tsuji 12-15, 15-8, 15-11.
Steen Fladberg beat Hiroyuki Hasegawa 15-8, 17-18, 15-5.
Claus B. Anderson lost to Kinji Zeniya 15-11, 13-15, 12-15.
Flemming Delfs beat Masao Tsuchida 15-11, 15-8.
Steen Skovgaard/Fiemming Delfs beat Nobutakalkeda/Toshihiro Tsuji 15-5, 15-6.
Jesper Helledie/Steen Fladberg lost to Masao Tsuchida/Shokichi Miyamori 11-15, 11-15.
1st Round - Gloucester, May 12-13, 1982
ENGLAND 5 MALAYSIA 4 (English names first)
Nick Yates lost to Misbun Sidek 15-8, 13-15, 9-15.
Steve Baddeley beat Saw Swee Leong 15-6, 15-10.
Ray Stevens/Mike Tredgett beat Misbun Sidek/Ong Beng Teong 15-12, 15-7.
Martin Dew/Duncan Bridge lost to Razif Sidek/Jalani Sidek 15-12, 11-15, 6-15.
Nick Yates beat Saw Swee Leong 15-9, 15-5.
Steve Baddeley beat Misbun Sidek 15-7, 15-0.
Ray Stevens/Mike Tredgett lost to Razif Sidek/Jalani Sidek 15-12, 11-15, 6-15.
Ray Stevens lost to Razif Sidek 15-9, 11-15, 16-18.
Martin Dew/Duncan Bridge beat Misbun Sidek/Ong Beng Teong 15-12, 15-7.
Semi-final - Preston, May 14-15, 1982
CHINA 8 DENMARK 1 (Chinese names first)
Han Jian beat Steen Fladberg 15-2, 15-1.
Chen Changjie beat Claus B. Andersen 15-8, 17-16.
Sun Zhian/Yao Ximing lost to Steen Skovgaard/Fiemming Delfs 9-15, 15-6, 9-15.
Luan Jin/Lin Jiangli beat Jesper Helledie/Steen Fladberg 15-5, 18-16.
Han Jian beat Claus B. Andersen 15-3, 15-7.
Chen Changjie beat Steen Fladberg 15-5, 12-15, 15-8.
Luan Jin beat Flemming Delfs 15-7, 15-4.
Sun Zhian/Yao Ximing beat Jesper Helledie/Steen Fladberg 15-6, 15-1.
Luan Jin/Lin Jiangli beat Steen Skovgaard/Fiemming Delfs 15-9, 15-4.
Birmingham, May 16-17, 1982
INDONESIA 8 ENGLAND 1 (Indonesian names first)
Liem Swie King beat Steve Baddeley 11-15, 15-0, 15-9.
Lius Pongoh beat Nick Yates 18-17, 15-7.
Christian/Liem Swie King beat Mike Tredgett/Martin Dew 15-10, 15-5.
Kartono/Rudy Heryanto beat Ray Stevens/Andy Goode 15-2, 2-15, 15-5.
Liem Swie King beat Nick Yates 15-2, 15-5.
Lius Pongoh beat Steve Baddeley 15-12, 15-8.
Rudy Hartono beat Andy Goode 15-4, 18-14.
Christian/Liem Swie King beat Nick Yates/Andy Goode 17-18, 15-11, 15-6.
Kartono/Rudy Heryanto lost to Mike Tredgett/Martin Dew 10-15, 1-15.
Albert Hall, London, May 20-21, 1982
CHINA 5 INDONESIA 4 (Chinese names first)
Chen Changjie lost to Liem Swie King 8-15, 13-15.
Han Jian beat Lius Pongoh 15-5, 15-7.
Luan Jin/Lin Jiangli lost to Kartono/ Rudy Heryanto 8-15, 15-13, 9-15.
Sun Zhian/Yao Ximing lost to Christian/Liem Swie King 10-15, 15-12, 8-15.
Luan Jin beat Rudy Hartono 15-9, 1-15, 15-9.
Han Jian beat Liem Swie King 15-12, 11-15, 17-14.
Chen Changjie beat Lius Pongoh 18-17, 15-12.
Sun Zhian/Yao Ximing beat Kartono/ Rudy Heryanto 17-14, 3-15, 15-1.
Luan Jin/Lin Jiangli lost to Christian/ Liem Swie King 4-15, 11-15.
-- By Craig Reedie - World Badminton, June 1982