South Korea dethrones China and wins the 2022 Uber Cup in Bangkok, Thailand.©TNZT
South Korea stunned defending champions China by winning the prestigious badminton Uber Cup on Saturday in an epic battle that went to the wire in Bangkok. The holders were aiming for a 16th title in the Women’s Tag Team Championship, but with the countries deadlocked at 2-2, it all came down to a singles match between 15th-placed Chinese Wang Zhiyi and Sim Yu-jin, 46th. Sim, who turned 23 on Friday, shocked Wang 28-26, 18-21, 21-8 in a thrilling 88 minutes – and with it South Korea’s first Uber Cup crown in 12 years .
It was a hugely disappointing conclusion for China, who had taken an early lead in the encounter when Chen Yufei sealed a spectacular win from behind against An Se-young in a drama-filled marathon match.
Chen, the world number three and Olympic gold medalist from Tokyo, lost 21-17 in the opening match to fourth-placed An.
An built a five-point lead early in Game 2, but Chen roared to win that game 21-15 and sealed the decider 22-20 despite an ankle injury.
An, who is just 20, had his own problem with a right hamstring cramp and both players collapsed on the pitch from exhaustion after 91 minutes of grueling action.
A disappointed and emotional An, who triumphed over top-ranked Japanese star Akane Yamaguchi a day earlier, said she feared she had let her teammates down.
“I did my best, as much as I could…I was 20 points but then I lost control,” she said of failing to capitalize on three balls of game.
Indonesia face India on Sunday in the Thomas Cup, the men’s team championship, also in the Thai capital.
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