China is back to where they rightly belong to – as the world badminton powerhouse with a 3-1 win over Japan in the final to clinch their 10th Thomas Cup at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on Sunday.

It was a sweet a win for the Chinese who flopped in the 2014 and 2016 editions when Japan and Denmark, respectively, won the prestigious silverware.

Japan, however, put a dent in China’s pride, taking the first point through Kento Momota, the newly crowned Badminton Asia champion, who defeated Olympic champion Chen Long 21-9, 21-18 in the first singles in 61 minutes.

World No 12 Momota gave another masterly display of attacking badminton, strong signals that he will soon be the man to beat in the shuttle sport.

China regained their composure after the early setback and drew level through their first doubles and world number three Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan who downed Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko 21-10, 21-18 in 40 minutes.

It was 2-1 for China when reigning All England champion Shi Yuqi, 22, won his second singles match against Kenta Nishimoto 21-12, 21-17 in 45 minutes. The Chinese were in the driving seat.

China laid their hands on the silverware through world number four Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen clinching the second doubles.

The Chinese pair came through a three-game thriller before prevailing 17-21, 21-19, 22-20 against Keigo Sonoda-Yuta Watanabe in 70 minutes.

With the win, China thus denied Japan a double at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. Japan had won the Uber Cup for women a day earlier with a 3-0 win over Thailand in the final. – RIZAL ABDULLAH 



China 3 Japan 1

MS1: Chen Long lost to Kento Momota 9-21, 18-21

MD1: Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan beat Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko 21-10, 21-18

MS2: Shi Yuqi beat Kenta Nishimoto 21-12, 21-17

MD2: Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen beat Keigo Sonoda-Yuta Watanabe 17-21, 21-19, 22-20

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