PETALING JAYA: The 19-year wait ended for Indonesia when it regained its supremacy in the Thomas Cup final when it defeated the defending champions China 3-0.
It was Indonesia’s 14th victory but not since tasting a recent success in the 2002 edition of Guangzhou where it defeated Malaysia in the final.
No. 7 in the world Jonathan Christie became a hero after defeating the rising star Li Shifeng 21-14, 18-21, 21-14 in 82 minutes to win the victory point when the Indonesia camp burst into immense joy.
Armed with grid control, powerful crashes and intricate shots, Jonathan displayed his level of fitness for admiration as yesterday’s victory marked his third consecutive fight, lasting more than an hour.
It took 75 minutes to beat Ng Tze Yong in a 3-0 quarter-final victory over Malaysia before exchanging blows with Anders Antonensen of Denmark in a 100-minute thriller on Saturday.
Shi Yuki’s absence in the opening units due to an ankle injury was very much felt in China but Lu Guangzhou put on a proper show to make sure that world number 5 Anthony Ginting goes the extra mile to win the first point.
Anthony had to come from behind and struggled for 77 minutes to tame 24-year-old Guangzhou, 18-21, 21-14, 21-16.
Indonesia made a bold decision by presenting their third pick Fajar Alpian-Muhammad Ryan Ardianto for the first doubles match and they showed they were equally credible when they defeated He Jiting-Zhou Haodong 21-12, 21-19 to give Indonesia a 2-0 lead. .
The comfortable lead was good enough to motivate Jonathan to go all the way to seal the win for Indonesia.
Before the recent victory, Indonesia came close twice before settling as deputy China in 2010 and Denmark in 2016.
As for China, their defeat has prevented them from making a clean sweep of double Thomas and the Uber Cup since 2012.
Thomas Cup final
Indonesia vs. China 3-0 (Anthony Ginting Blue Guangzhou 18-21, 21-14, 21-16; Fajer Alfian-Muhammad Ryan 21-12, 21-19; Jonathan Christie Lee Lee Shifeng 21-14, 18 -21, 21-14.