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Friday, 23 May 2014

Malaysia whitewash Indonesia 3-0 to set up Thomas Cup final date with Japan

Lee Chong Wei returning a shot to Tommy Sugiarto in the Thomas Cup semi-final between Malaysia and Indonesia, in New Delhi tonight. - AFP pic, May 23, 2014. 

Malaysia's 2014 Thomas Cup team walked tall after whitewashing Indonesia 3-0 to secure their berth in the final, ending a 12-year wait for a chance at the title.

Malaysia will face Japan in the final at the Siri Fort Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday.

Malaysia last reached the final in 2002 in Guangzhou, China but lost 2-3 to Indonesia.

Malaysia's badminton superstar Datuk Lee Chong Wei defeated Tommy Sugiarto 21-19, 21-13 in the first singles while first doubles Tan Boon Heong/Hoon Thien How chalked a stunning victory over world champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan 21-19, 8-21, 32-21.

Second singles Chong Wei Feng thrashed Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka 21-10, 21-17 to give the much needed win after more than a decade to put Malaysia in the final.

Tan Boon Heong (left) and Hoon Thien How overcame the odds to 
defeat the world doubles champions from Indonesia. - AFP pic, May 23, 2014. 

"In the first set I made some mistakes and Tommy was also good. It will be a lie if I said there was no pressure. The second match, I had more confidence," said Chong Wei after his match.

He added that the team's performance was also very good as players like Chong Wei Feng were making their Thomas Cup debut.

Wei Feng won all his matches in his maiden Thomas Cup tournament.

"Not only Thomas Cup, but the Uber Cup as well. The team's performance was good. We didn't expect to beat Germany 5-0 (Uber Cup)," added Chong Wei, whose wish to beat the Badminton Association of Malaysia's semifinal target and reach the final came through.

An extremely cheerful Boon Heong said he has gained a lot of confidence having beaten the world's best men's doubles pair.

Earlier today, Japan caused a major upset defeating China 3-0. China has won the Thomas Cup in the last five editions.

"Nobody would have expected Japan to win 3-0 against China, maybe 3-1 or 3-2 but not 3-0. They played so well," said Chong Wei, when asked on Japan's victory.

It will be the first time that Malaysia and Japan are meeting in the final of this premier badminton tournament.

"It is interesting to be up against Japan as this is the first time they reached the final," Chong Wei said.

Malaysia last lifted the Thomas Cup in 1992 in Kuala Lumpur when they beat Indonesia. – Bernama, May 23, 2014.-MI

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