The Historic Journey of the Thomas Cup & Uber Cup | BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals

    These are two trophies, one 71 cm high and the other 45.7 cm, that the strongest teams in the world will compete for in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 8 to 15, 2022.

    The Thomas Cup, the older and larger of the two, is the attractive prize awarded for the World Men’s Team Championships. Manufactured by Atkin Bros of London, the silver gilt trophy consists of a cup on a pedestal, with the figure of a player on top of the lid. its name honors sir george thomas, the legendary founder and president of the international badminton federation (now bwf), who wanted badminton to have its own version of the davis cup in tennis.

    Reading: Thomas and uber cups

    the thomas cup has come a long way, but it did not get off to an auspicious start. Shortly after Sir George proposed the idea of ​​an international men’s team championship in 1939 (only five years after the founding of the ibf), the second world war broke out. however, the plan was not shelved and in 1946, at the council’s first general meeting since 1940, the men’s championship was planned for 1948-49.

    The nations were divided into four zones: Pan-American, Asian (East and West), Australasian, and European. the competition would take place once every three years, the format consisted of best-of-nine ties: five singles and four doubles. In the first final, Malaysia beat Denmark 8-1. sir george presented the trophy to the winning captain lim chuan geok.

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    the thomas cup would go on to witness many more famous battles. Malaysia swept the first three editions, but in 1957-58 it was Indonesia that would rise like a phoenix, decimating all rivals for the next two decades. The only break in their reign was in the 1966-67 edition when Malaysia won the tie due to problems with the spectators in the Jakarta final. soon after changes were made to the format. until 1966-67, the interzone winners had to meet the defending champions in the “challenge round” final for the trophy, but after that year, the challenge round was abolished.

    China’s arrival in the international fold in the early 1980s provided another twist. the Chinese, despite their limited international exposure up to that point, showed that they were already world leaders. the final, against reigning champions indonesia, would prove to be one of the most riveting matches of all time: 5-4 for china on their debut, with han jian starring in the event by beating three-time all england champion liem swie king 15 – 12 11-15 17-14. For the next edition (1984), two significant changes were introduced: the Thomas Cup would be held simultaneously with the Uber Cup every two years instead of three, and ties would be fought over five matches instead of nine. further changes to the scoring format would be made in later editions.

    Overall, Indonesia leads the tally with 15 titles; China is second with 10. The Chinese, winners of five consecutive titles between 2004 and 2012, suffered a surprise semi-final loss in the 2014 edition against Japan, who claimed their first title beating Malaysia in a thrilling final in New Delhi.

    Then it was Denmark’s turn to make history in 2016 as they became the first non-Asian country to win the Thomas Cup, which they did by beating Indonesia in the final in Kunshan.

    The 2018 edition saw China once again storm the title, beating Japan 3-1 in the final in Bangkok.

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    The 2020 edition was held in October 2021 due to the 2020 season being interrupted due to the covid-19 pandemic. Indonesia broke a 19-year drought by beating China 3-0 in the final.

    the women’s world team championship was proposed in 1950 by the great pre-war english player, betty uber (supported by nancy fleming of new zealand), and was finally born in 1956-57 . the trophy, donated and designed by betty uber, consists of a player on a rotating globe, mounted on a pedestal, and was made by london silversmiths mappin and webb. the format in its early years consisted of three singles and four doubles; Starting in 1984, the number of matches per tie was reduced to three singles and two doubles, similar to the Thomas Cup.

    While there are similarities between the two championships, there was a difference in early dominance patterns. America, led by stalwarts like Judy and Sue Devlin and Margaret Varner, collected a hat-trick of titles in the first three editions from 1956-57. The balance of power then shifted to Asia, with Japan winning 5-2 in the final of a captivating final against the United States in 1966. Japan won four of the next five editions; the only intruder was Indonesian (1974-75).

    china came out strong in 1984. One measure of their success is the fact that from 1984 to 2016 they won 14 of the 17 editions. Indonesia (1994 and 1996), Korea (2010) and Japan (2018) are the only three countries since 1984 that have broken China’s winning streak. Japan, once a major powerhouse in the women’s game, were Super Cup winners in 1966, 1969, 1972, 1978 and 1981 before their fortunes plummeted. however, the last decade has seen them rise once again and they regained the title in 2018.

    In recent years, China and Japan have fielded the strongest teams. china beat japan in the last edition in aarhus, beating them 3-1 in the final.

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