Thomas & Uber Cup Finals: Celebrating Veteran Badminton Stars

Leon To

Wed May 01 2024

Thomas Cup
Uber Cup
Line Kjaersfeldt
Ratchanok Intanon
Team Championships
Women's Singles
Veteran Players

The upcoming Thomas & Uber Cup Finals, set to take place in Chengdu, China from April 27 to May 5, 2024, will honor two exceptional female badminton players. Danish shuttler Line Kjaersfeldt and former world number one from Thailand, Ratchanok Intanon, are expected to make history by participating in the world team championships for the seventh consecutive time, showcasing their remarkable talent and enduring dedication to the sport.

Ratchanok Intanon, just 17 years old at the time, first debuted in the Uber Cup tournament 12 years ago in Wuhan. Despite a challenging start with a 1-3 record, including a match against the formidable Taiwanese player Tai Tzu Ying, Intanon proved her prowess leading Thailand to the semi-finals. Since establishing herself as one of the top female singles stars after 2012, Intanon clinched the Uber Cup silver medal for Thailand in 2018, despite a 0-3 loss to Japan in the final.

On the other hand, Line Kjaersfeldt played a significant role for Denmark in the last edition by featuring in all three matches at just 18 years old. Her journey included a victory against American player Jamie Subhandi in Denmark's 4-1 triumph. However, Denmark's campaign came to an end in the quarter-finals against Thailand, where Kjaersfeldt was defeated by the then 20-year-old Sapsiree Taerattanachai, with Intanon securing the decisive point by winning against Tine Baun.

In the previous Uber Cup held in Bangkok two years ago, Intanon secured three wins out of five matches as Thailand finished as runners-up after a semi-final defeat to China. Kjaersfeldt also delivered two victories out of three matches. Interestingly, both players have only missed one Uber Cup participation, with both hailing from Denmark and Thailand, respectively. Another intriguing coincidence is that Mia Blichfeldt and Busanan Ongbamrungphan made their Uber Cup debut in New Delhi, India in 2014.

Among the list of players making their fifth Cup appearance include representatives from Denmark and Thailand: Maiken Fruergaard, Sara Thygesen (Denmark), Pornpawee Chochuwong, Jongkolphan Kititharakul, Rawinda Prajongjai (Thailand), Hsu Ya Ching (Chinese Taipei), Chen Qing Chen (China), and former world number one Akane Yamaguchi (Japan).

As the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals draw near, all eyes will be on veterans like Line Kjaersfeldt and Ratchanok Intanon as they aim to continue their legacy in one of the most prestigious team badminton tournaments. Their enduring passion and skill have cemented their status as icons in the sport, inspiring a new generation of players to strive for greatness.