Jonatan Christie described winning the Thomas Cup for Indonesia as his biggest career achievement after the 24-year-old sealed the deal in the second men’s singles to complete a 3-0 demolition over China.
Indonesia came into this final as favourites against a new-look Chinese squad without many of their accomplished stars such as Chen Long, Shi Yuqi and Li Jun Hui-Liu Yu Chen.
Despite fielding a young squad, China did not wilt easily and Anthony Ginting was given a stern test against Lu Guang Zu before prevailing in three games 18-21, 21-14, 21-16.
Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto delivered the second point with a 21-12, 21-19 victory over He Ji Ting-Zhou Hao Dong, before Christie found a way past Li Shi Feng 21-14, 18-21, 21-14 in 82 minutes.
The world number seven later said winning the Thomas Cup was a bigger achievement than his Asian Games gold in 2018.
“After I lost the second game, I just motivated myself to go again for 100 minutes. I was prepared to go the distance, be it 100 or 120 minutes. This is definitely my biggest career achievement, bigger than the Asian Games,” he said.
Christie had not reached the giddy heights of his Asian Games triumph, and only went on to win two lower scale events at the Australian and New Zealand Open after that.
His victory ended Indonesia’s 19-year wait for the prestigious trophy they last won back in 2002.
Ginting, who was also taken to the wire against the inexperienced Lu, said he had to make double preparation to face either Lu or Shi Yuqi.
“We have met twice before, but this is the final and so the expectations were different and we both raised our game and gave it everything. I did not play well and made a lot of mistakes, but I am happy I was able to overcome that pressure in the third game,” he said.
Indonesia were worthy champions, having topped their group with a perfect record, before ousting Malaysia 3-0 in the quarter-finals, and Denmark 3-1 in the semis.
China can also be proud for having come this far with a young squad.
Besides reaching the Thomas Cup final, China also clinched the Uber Cup and the Sudirman Cup last month.