Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

Thomas And Uber Cup 2022: South Korea Stun China In Thriller To Win Women's Title

South Korea lifted Uber Cup for only the second time after defeating the defending champions China 3-2.

Thomas And Uber Cup 2022: South Korea Stun China In Thriller To Win Women's Title
South Korea's Sim Yu Jin reacts after defeating China's Wang Zhi Yi in Uber Cup 2022 final. AP Photo

A spirited South Korea dethroned China as the Uber Cup champions with a stunning 3-2 victory in the final at the Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday. (More Badminton News)

In a final unlike any other in recent times, an unheralded figure emerged as the heroine for South Korea against 15-time champions China.

With both the teams locked at 2-2, world No.46 Sim Yu Jin survived a tense decider against world No.15 Wang Zhi Yi to seal the win for South Korea. This is Korea's second world women's team title.

The last time a Uber Cup final had gone to the fifth match was in 1994, and in the final too, China had ended runners-up against Indonesia.

In the opening singles, Chen Yu Fei beat An Se Young (17-21, 21-15, -22-20) in an epic clash which lasted one hour and 31 minutes to give China a headstart.

It was followed by another one-hour long match,  but this time the Koreans took the honour. Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan beat favourites Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan (12-21, 21-18, 21-18) in the doubles to level the tie at 1-1. The Chinese pair entered the match with a 5-0 head-to-head record.

China then took a 2-1 lead with He Bing Jiao taking just 43 minutes to beat Kim Gaeun in straight games (21-12, 21-13) in the second singles match.

But the doubles team of Hye Jeong and Kong Hee Yong beat Huang Dong Ping and Li Wen Mei (22-20, 21-17) in a cagey match to force the deciding fifth match.

China were still the favourites to win the tie with Asian champion Wang Zhi Yi taking on much-lower ranked Sim Yu Jin. But the unheralded 23-year-old South Korean showed her grit to take the first game 28-26. 

Wang Zhi Yi hit back with a 21-18 win in the second game, but the 22-year-old Chinese ran out of steam in the decider as her Korean counterpart cantered to a 21-8. The match lasted one hour and 28 minutes.

This was Kore's first win over China in the final in seven attempts. China had defeated Korea in the 1990, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2012 and 2016 finals.

The Thomas & Uber Cup 2022 concludes with India vs Indonesia final on Sunday.

Indian men are in their maiden Thomas Cup final, while defending champions Indonesia are looking for a record-extending 15 title.


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