Let's go back into the rich history European badminton: There is of course Poul-Erik Høyer's gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1996, there is Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms' silver medal in Athens, the legacy of icons like Erland Kops, Morten Frost and Peter Gade. Not to forget the three All-England crowns of Tine Baun, the double world champion Lene Køppen and Camilla Martin's triumph at home in 1999. And we have the Spanish sensation Carolina Marin, who won the world championships gold medal 2014 and 2015.
And on Sunday, there was another piece of history written by Europe's powerhouse of badminton, Denmark. And it is not an exaggeration to say that Denmark created sports history by clinching their first Thomas Cup title.
Denmark beat Indonesia 3-2 in the final of the Thomas Cup at the Kunshan Sports Centre. It is the first time a European country has lifted the prestigious Cup since the tournament's inception in 1949. Denmark, fielding their strongest lineup, drew first blood through Viktor Axelsen who saw off Tommy Sugiarto 21-17, 21-18 in the opening men's singles match.
Match winner Hans-Kristian Vittinghus ... again
Record champions Indonesia (13 titles), quickly drew level through Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan who chalked up a 21-18, 21-13 win over Mads Conrad and Mads Kolding. Former European Champion Jan Ø. Jørgensen, who was rested in the semi-final tie against Malaysia on Friday, put Denmark ahead again when he beat Anthony Ginting 21-17, 21-12.
Indonesia, who boast better doubles dragged the tie into the deciding match when 2015 Sea Games gold medallist Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi won 21-16, 21-14 against Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen. Experience and sheer determination won it for the Danes in the end when world No 13 Hans Kristian Vittinghus beat Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 21-15, 21-7.
Jan Ø. Jørgensen: An unreal experience
"I appreciate what my team members did to put me in the best position. I think I played one heck of a match. It’s a wonderful feeling to be in now ... to bring the Thomas Cup back to our country", says Hans-Kristian Vittinghus to Malaysian newspaper "TheStar".
“We are going to celebrate with lots of beers, champagne, shouting and dancing,” said an emotional Jan Ø. Jørgensen.
“It’s an unreal experience for us. Everyone put up a tremendous effort this week and we came through tough moments. It was team effort that brought us this success,” added Jørgensen.
Viktor Axelsen - Tommy Sugiarto 21:17 21:18
Mads Conrad/Mads Kolding - Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan 18:21 13:21
Jan Ø. Jørgensen - Ginting Anthony 21:17 21:12
Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen - Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi 16:21 14:21
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus - Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 21:15 21:7
Article by Manuel Rösler. All photos by BadmintonPhoto (LIVE).