Sunday, 27 May 2018 | MYT 6:34 PM
China beat Japan to clinch 10th Thomas Cup win
BANGKOK: China won their 10th Thomas Cup to regain their status as the best men's team in the world after a 3-1 win over Japan.
But their win did not come easy.
Two-time world champion Chen Long dropped the first singles when he lost to a determined Kento Momota 9-21, 18-21 at Impact Arena in Bangkok on Sunday.
Kento was impressive throughout the match with his well-planned attacking shots and showed great mastery on the net too. There was nothing Chen Long could do to bring the world No. 12 down.
But China was back in business when they levelled the score through their top pair Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan, who were in immaculate form as they defeated scratch pair Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko 21-10, 21-18.
Reigning All-England champion Shi Yuqi delivered when it mattered most when he blew away Kenta Nishimoto 21-12, 21-17 to put China in a 2-1 lead.
Then it was up to Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen to clinch the winning point and they did pull it off but not after being stretched to the limit by scratch pair Keigo Sonoda-Yuta Watanabe.
But the world No. 4 Chinese pair prevailed to beat Sonoda-Watanabe 17-21, 21-19, 22-20 to bring the Cup back home after missing the last two editions in 2014 and 2016.
China last won it at the 2012 edition in Wuhan.
China bt Japan 3-1 (Chen Long lost to Kento Momota 9-21, 18-21; Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan bt Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko 21-10, 21-18; Shi Yuqi bt Kenta Nishimoto 21-12; 21-17; Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen bt Keigo Sonoda-Yuta Watanabe 17-21, 21-19; 22-20.