Taiwan set high mark at Thomas Cup

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OUT AGAINST INDONESIA:
Taiwan reached the semi-finals at the tournament for the first time by defeating Denmark, with Chou Tien-chen beating Viktor Axelsen

Taiwan yesterday crashed out of the Thomas Cup team competition in Chengdu, China, but achieved their best result at the top-tier badminton event by reaching the semi-finals.

Indonesia were too good in the semis, winning 3-0 to advance to today’s final against China, who eliminated Malaysia 3-1.

In the opening singles of the men’s team clash at the Hi-Tech Zone Sports Center Gymnasium 2, Anthony Ginting defeated Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen 21-18, 21-19 in 51 minutes, which put a huge hole in Taiwan’s aspirations to perhaps even make the final.

Photo: AFP

In the men’s doubles, Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Ardianto downed Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin 16-21, 21-19, 21-18 in one hour, three minutes, while in the second singles, Jonatan Christie beat Wang Tzu-wei 21 -11, 21-16.

Taiwan on Friday reached the semi-finals at the tournament for the first time with a 3-1 triumph over Denmark in the quarter-finals.

They defeated their rivals with only one loss, with Lin Chun-yi falling to Anders Antonsen 21-14, 10-21, 14-21 in the third match.

Photo: AP

The highlight was the first match, a singles encounter between Chou and world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen.

Chou won 21-19, 14-21, 21-19 in a 68-minute marathon at Gymnasium 1.

“I just wanted to show the best of me today for the team. Even if I lost the game, I could not have appeared weak. I’m glad that I took down that match today and kept our team going,” the former world No. 2 told reporters after beating Axelsen for the fourth time in their 22 encounters.

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Photo: AP

Chou earlier in the week had said that the team were strong enough to go further than Taiwan had previously at the tournament.

On Friday, he delivered.

After splitting the first two games, he nailed three points in a row to take a 19-17 advantage, but Axelsen narrowed the margin by one point.

The two engaged in a 49-shot rally before Axelsen’s backhand return fell short, prompting him to throw his racket onto the ground.

Despite conceding another point, Chou closed out the match with a smash close to the sideline.

Chou bounced back after losing on Wednesday to Kenta Nishimoto in 78 minutes in Taiwan’s 5-0 loss to Japan in the group stage.

“Thank the Lord for giving me so much confidence. Even though I didn’t play well and lost to Japan in my last match, I still have to prepare myself well,” Chou said.

Taiwan completed the Denmark win with two doubles triumphs — the second and fourth match.

Olympic champions Wang Chi-lin and Lee beat world No. 4 pair Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen 21-14, 21-15 in 37 minutes.

“It was truly exciting to see Tien take down the first match, but we still tried to stay calm coming into the match, and I’m very happy that I played normally today,” Wang Chi-lin said, adding that he finally found his old self after struggling for half a year.

Lee Jhe-huei and Yang Po-hsuan downed Rasmus Kjaer and Frederik Sogaard 23-21, 21-18 in 41 minutes, meaning Wang Tzu-wei did not have to play.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s women’s team were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Uber Cup on Friday by South Korea 3-0.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Taiwan set high mark Thomas Cup

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