Thomas Cup

Last updated
Thomas Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
Badminton current event.png 2018 Thomas & Uber Cup
Sport Badminton
Founded1949
Founder George Alan Thomas
No. of teams16
Countries BWF member nations
Most recent
champion(s)
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China (10th title)
Most titlesFlag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia (13 titles)
Official website Thomas Cup

The Thomas Cup, sometimes called the World Men's Team Championships, is an international badminton competition among teams representing member nations of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the sport's global governing body. The championships have been conducted every two years since the 1982 tournament, amended from being conducted every three years since the first tournament held in 1948–1949.

Badminton racquet sport

Badminton is a racquet sport played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net. Although it may be played with larger teams, the most common forms of the game are "singles" and "doubles". Badminton is often played as a casual outdoor activity in a yard or on a beach; formal games are played on a rectangular indoor court. Points are scored by striking the shuttlecock with the racquet and landing it within the opposing side's half of the court.

Badminton World Federation badminton association

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the international governing body for the sport of badminton recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Founded in 1934 as the International Badminton Federation (IBF) with nine member nations, the BWF has since expanded to 176 member nations around the world. On 24 September 2006, at the Extraordinary General Meeting in Madrid, it was decided to adopt the new name Badminton World Federation (BWF).

The 1982 Thomas Cup was the 12th tournament of Thomas Cup, the most important men's badminton team competition in the world. The final round was held in London, England.

Contents

The final phase of the tournament involves twelve teams competing at venues within a host nation and is played concurrently with the final phase of the world women's team championships, the Uber Cup (first held in 1956–1957). Since 1984 the two competitions have been held jointly at the various stages of play.

The Uber Cup, sometimes called the World Team Championships for Women, is a major international badminton competition contested by women's national badminton teams. First held in 1956–1957 and contested at three year intervals, it has been contested every two years since 1984 when its scheduled times and venues were merged with those of Thomas Cup, the world men's team championship. In 2007, BWF decided to have Thomas and Uber Cup finals separated again but the proposal was ultimately abandoned. The Uber Cup is named after a former British women's badminton player, Betty Uber, who in 1950 had the idea of hosting a women's event similar to the men's. She also made the draw for the 1956–1957 inaugural tournament, which took place at Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire, England.

The 1957 Uber Cup was the inaugural Uber Cup; a women's international team badminton championship promoted by Betty Uber. Eleven nations took part competing first within zones to qualify for interzone matches. The final round was held in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England on 18 March 1957. The United States won the event, defeating Denmark.

Of the thirty Thomas Cup tournaments held since 1948–1949, only five nations have won the title. Indonesia is the most successful team, having won the tournament thirteen times. China, which did not begin to compete until the 1982 series, follows Indonesia with ten titles, while Malaysia has won five titles. Japan and Denmark both have one. Thomas Cup and, to a lesser extent, Uber Cup are some of the world's "biggest" and most prestigious regularly held badminton events in terms of player and fan interest.

Indonesia national badminton team national badminton team

The Indonesia national badminton team represents Indonesia in international badminton team competitions and is controlled by the Persatuan Bulutangkis Seluruh Indonesia, PBSI, the governing body for badminton in Indonesia. The Indonesian team has not been absent from the Thomas Cup tournament since it first entered and won the competition in 1958.

The Chinese National Badminton Team represents the People's Republic of China in international badminton team competitions and is controlled by the Chinese Badminton Association, the governing body for badminton in China.

The Malaysia national badminton team is a badminton team that plays for Malaysia in international competitions. The men's team has enjoyed immense success, having won the Thomas Cup five times, most recently in 1992 and became runner-up nine times. In the Uber Cup competition, the women's team with the best results in 1975, 2004, 2008 and 2010 edition making it to the quarter-finals. Malaysia competed in the Sudirman Cup since 1989 with the best result in 2009, placed third.

Japan became the fourth nation to win the Thomas Cup after beating Malaysia 3–2 in the 2014 final. Traditionally, the Thomas Cup had always been won by Asian countries until Denmark became the fifth nation and the first European nation in history to win the Thomas Cup after beating Indonesia 3–2 in the 2016 final. [1]

2014 Thomas & Uber Cup badminton championships

The 2014 Thomas & Uber Cup was the 28th tournament of the Thomas Cup and 25th tournament of the Uber Cup, the badminton team championships for men and women respectively. It was held on 18–25 May 2014 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi, India. This is the first time India hosted the two cups.

2016 Thomas & Uber Cup badminton championships

The 2016 Thomas & Uber Cup was the 29th tournament of the Thomas Cup and 26th tournament of the Uber Cup, the premier badminton team championships for men and women respectively. It was held at the Kunshan Sports Centre in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, China.

History

First Thomas Cup

The Thomas Cup competition was the idea of Sir George Alan Thomas, a highly successful English badminton player of the early 1900s, who was inspired by tennis's Davis Cup, and football's (soccer's) World Cup first held in 1930. His idea was well received at the general meeting of the International Badminton Federation (now Badminton World Federation) in 1939. [2] [3]

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Davis Cup annual international team competition in mens tennis

The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format. It is described by the organisers as the "World Cup of Tennis", and the winners are referred to as the World Champion team. The competition began in 1900 as a challenge between Great Britain and the United States. By 2016, 135 nations entered teams into the competition. The most successful countries over the history of the tournament are the United States and Australia. The present champions are Croatia, who beat France to win their second title in 2018.

FIFA World Cup Association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

In the same year, Sir George presented the Thomas Cup, officially known as The International Badminton Championship Challenge Cup, produced by Atkin Bros of London at a cost of US$40,000. The Cup stands 28 inches high and 16 inches across at its widest, and consists of three parts: a plinth (pedestal), a bowl, and a lid with player figure. [3] [4]

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

The first tournament was originally planned for 1941–1942 (badminton seasons in the northern hemisphere traditionally ran from the autumn of one calendar year to the spring of the next), but was delayed when World War II exploded across the continents. Sir George's dream was finally realized in 1948–1949 when ten national teams participated in the first Thomas Cup competition. Three qualifying zones were established: Pan America, Europe, and the Pacific; though Malaya (now Malaysia) was the only Pacific zone participant. In a format that would last until 1984, all ties (matches between nations) would consist of nine individual matches; the victorious nation needing to win at least five of these contests. The top two singles players for each side faced both of the top two players for the opposite side, accounting for four matches. A fifth singles match took place between the third ranked singles players for each team. Finally, two doubles pairings for each side played both of the doubles pairings for the opposite side, accounting for four more matches. Each tie was normally contested over two days, four matches on the first day and five on the next. The United States and Denmark won their respective zone qualifications and thus joined Malaya for the inter-zone ties.

The inter-zone ties were held in the United Kingdom. As the tournament used a knockout (single elimination) system, rather than a round-robin system, one country, Denmark, was given a bye in the first round. Malaya defeated the USA 6–3 in a highly competitive match played in Glasgow, Scotland (curiously, none of the players on either side had previously seen any of the players on the other side play). Of note, this tie marked the first of only three ever matches between the USA's Dave Freeman and Malaya's Wong Peng Soon the two greatest singles players of the early post-war period. In the final round held in Preston, England, Malaya beat Denmark 8–1 and became the first nation to win a Thomas Cup. [5]

Development

During the next several Thomas Cup competitions the number of participating nations grew and a fourth qualifying zone was added. The former Pacific zone was converted into Asian and Australasian zones for the 1954–1955 tournament. Beginning with the second tournament in 1951–1952, zone winners contested to determine a challenger for the reigning champion nation. Until 1964 the Cup-holding nation always hosted these inter-zone ties but was exempt from them, and from the earlier intra-zone matches, needing only to defend its title, at home, in a single, conclusive challenge round tie.

With veterans such as Wong Peng Soon. Ooi Teik Hock, and Ong Poh Lim leading the way Malaya comfortably retained the Cup in Singapore against the USA (7–2) in 1952 and Denmark (8–1) in 1955. Malaya's reign, however, was ended in 1958 (3 matches to 6) by upstart Indonesia led by Ferry Sonneville and Tan Joe Hok. Indonesia successfully defended its title in 1961 against a young team from Thailand which had surprised Denmark in the inter-zone final. [6]

Amid some complaints of home court advantage (and "home climate" advantage as far as the Europeans were concerned), a rules change effective in 1964 prevented the reigning champion nation from defending the Cup at home twice in succession. The challenge round played in Tokyo, Japan that year was nonetheless controversial because the Danish challengers were barracked and severely harassed during play by young Indonesian fans. A narrow 5–4 Indonesian victory was upheld by the IBF (BWF) over Danish protest. When the challenge round returned to Jakarta in 1967 a resurgent Malaysia led Indonesia 4–3 (despite the spectacular debut of Indonesia's young Rudy Hartono) when crowd interference during the eighth match prompted tournament referee Herbert Scheele to halt play. When Indonesia rejected an IBF (BWF) decision to resume the contest in New Zealand, Malaysia was awarded the outstanding matches (6–3) and with them the Thomas Cup. [7]

After 1967 the IBF (BWF) further reduced the advantages accorded to the defending champion by eliminating the old challenge round system. Instead, the Cup defender would receive a bye only to an inter-zone semifinal berth and then have to earn its way into the decisive final match. This change, however, proved to be little obstacle for a rampant Indonesia. With a cadre of talented players including Hartono and doubles wizards such as Tjun Tjun and Christian Hadinata, Indonesia dominated Thomas Cup competition throughout the seventies. Its successful effort to regain the cup in 1969–1970 was a struggle, but in the competitions ending in 1973, 1976, and 1979 Indonesia swept its ties by winning a remarkable 51 of 54 individual matches. [8]

In 1982, however, China burst onto the scene as a new member of the IBF (BWF). Having long before developed players as good as, or better than, any in the world (especially in singles), China defeated Indonesia in a classic 5–4 final in London. Thus began an era continuing to the present which has generally seen either China or Indonesia capture or retain the Cup. The pattern has been broken three times, by Malaysia in 1992, Japan in 2014 and Denmark in 2016.

Revised format

In the early 1980s the IBF (BWF) revamped the formats of both Thomas Cup and the women's world team championship, the Uber Cup. Starting in 1984 they were held concurrently, every two years not three, with equivalent phases of the two competitions held at the same venues and times. Ties at all stages of the Thomas Cup were trimmed from nine matches to five, played in one day not two. Lineups continued to consist of three singles players and two doubles teams, but each now played a single match against the opposing team's counterpart.

Qualification

The old knockout (single elimination) zone qualification system in which each tie was played at a separate venue and time was eliminated. Instead, common qualifying venues brought many teams together to contend in group round-robin ties followed by playoffs between group leaders. As few as one or as many as three teams from a given venue (depending on the previously assessed strength of its field) would qualify for the final phase of the competition which until 2004 was limited to eight teams. The number of qualifying venues prior to 2004 varied between two and four and their sites basically reflected the long existent loci of badminton strength in the Far East and (to a lesser extent) in Europe (see chart below).

The European qualifying venue usually hosted the greatest number of teams and to streamline play and create more competitive ties, a two tiered system was eventually instituted there. Weaker badminton nations played-off in groups for the right to contest with the stronger national teams. To have an easier road to the inter-zone competition, strong Asian teams sometimes competed outside of their "natural" qualification venue. Rising power South Korea, for example, won qualifications held in North America in 1986 and in 1988.

In 2014 the qualification format was changed to include a total of 16 teams in the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals. The normal earlier used Thomas & Uber Cup Qualification was discontinued for one year, with the argument from the BWF that basically the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals had too many matches that were not competitive due to teams qualifying through a Continental quota system. Teams were invited to the 2014 Thomas & Uber Cup Finals from their World Ranking position. A continental quota was introduced, so a minimum of 1 team (either Thomas Cup or Uber Cup team) from each continent would qualify. Furthermore a minimum of 3 team from Asia and Europe would qualify in both Thomas Cup and Uber Cup. The total number of teams from 2014 on would be 16 in both Thomas and Uber Cup Finals. [9]

From 2016 on however teams qualified once again based on their performances in the Continental Team Championships. All five continental winners, besides semi-finalists from Asia and Europe, and the hosts and defending champions, automatically qualify. The rest of the 16 places will be taken by teams according to their BWF world team ranking (cumulative world ranking of their top three singles and top two doubles pairs). If the trophy holder and/or Host Member Association also take part and occupy a qualifying position in its respective Continental qualifying tournament, the next one or two highest ranked teams (excluding already automatically qualified teams) from the BWF World Team rankings in the same continent would also qualify. [10] [11]

Below shows the qualification slots in tournament history:

YearTotalZone
19493European
1
Pacific
1
Pan American
1
19524Champions & host
1
European
1
Pacific
1
Pan American
1
1955 – 1973,
1979
5Champions & host
1
Asian
1
Australasian
1
European
1
Pan American
1
1976, 19826Champions & host
2
Asian
1
Australasian
1
European
1
Pan American
1
19848Champions & host
2
Qualifying
(held in Asia – New Delhi)
1
Qualifying
(held in Asia – Hong Kong)
1
Qualifying
(held in Europe)
3
Qualifying
(held in Pan America)
1
19868Champions & host
2
Qualifying
(held in Asia)
2
Qualifying
(held in Europe)
3
Qualifying
(held in Pan America)
1
19888Champions & host
2
Qualifying
(held in Asia)
1
Qualifying
(held in Europe)
3
Qualifying
(held in Oceania)
1
Qualifying
(held in Pan America)
1
1990 – 1994,
1998, 2000
8Champions & host
2
Qualifying
(held in Europe)
3
Qualifying
(held in Asia)
3
19968Champions & host
2
Qualifying
(held in Europe)
3
Qualifying
(held in Oceania)
3
20028Champions & host
2
Qualifying
(held in Europe)
3
Qualifying
(held in Oceania)
3
2004, 201212Champions & host
1
Asian
5
European
3
African
1
Oceanian
1
Pan American
1
2006–201012Champions & host
2
Asian
4
European
3
African
1
Oceanian
1
Pan American
1
201416Champions & host
2
Asian
4
European
3
African
1
From BWF World Team Rankings
6
201616Champions & host
2
Asian
4
European
4
African
1
Oceanian
1
Pan American
1
From BWF World Team Rankings
3
201816Champions & host
2
Asian
4
European
3
African
1
Oceanian
1
Pan American
1
From BWF World Team Rankings
4

Final tournament

From 1984 through 2002 the final phase of Thomas Cup competition brought eight competing teams together. These included the defending champion nation and the host nation exempt from earlier qualification ties. The format of this final phase largely mirrored that of the qualifying venues. The eight teams were divided into pools or groups of four. Round-robin play within each group determined first and second place group finishers who then advanced to the semifinals. Each semifinal tie pitted the top finisher in one group against the second-place finisher in the other, with the winners proceeding to the championship match. A playoff for third place between losing semifinalists was instituted in 1984 but was dropped in 1990.

In 2004 The BWF increased the number of Thomas Cup qualifying venues to five, one for each of five regional confederations (Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and Pan America) that it had established. It also increased the number of teams qualifying for the final phase of competition to twelve. While all confederations were guaranteed to send at least one qualifier to the final phase, strong regions such as Asia might send several (see chart above). At the finals the twelve qualifying teams were divided into four groups of three teams with round-robin play within each group. Round-robin winners were then placed in separate quarter-final berths of a knockout (single elimination) tournament to await opponents determined by matches between the second-place finisher of one group and the third-place finisher of another. The draw was played out and the winner of this tournament within a tournament became the Thomas Cup champion. In 2007, BWF decided to have Thomas and Uber Cup finals separated again but the proposal was abandoned. [12]

From 2014, 16 teams were presented in the tournament. Teams no longer qualifying via the continental championships, instead teams will be invited based from their World Ranking position. The new structure also ensured a minimum of one team from each continent and three teams from Asia and Europe will qualify. [13] However, BWF revert to old qualifying system in 2016 tournament. [14]

Results

Thomas Cup summaries

1949–1982

Year [15] HostFinal
WinnerScoreRunner-up
1949
Details
Preston, England Flag of Malaya.svg
Malaya
8–1Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
1952
Details
Singapore Flag of Malaya.svg
Malaya
7–2Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg
United States
1955
Details
Singapore Flag of Malaya.svg
Malaya
8–1Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
1958
Details
Singapore Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
6–3Flag of Malaya.svg
Malaya
1961
Details
Jakarta, Indonesia Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
6–3Flag of Thailand.svg
Thailand
1964
Details
Tokyo, Japan Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
5–4Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
1967
Details
Jakarta, Indonesia Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
6–3Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
1970
Details
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
7–2Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
1973
Details
Jakarta, Indonesia Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
8–1Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
1976
Details
Bangkok, Thailand Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
9–0Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
1979
Details
Jakarta, Indonesia Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
9–0Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
1982
Details
London, England Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
5–4Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia

1984–1988

YearHostFinalThird Place
WinnerScoreRunner-upThird PlaceScoreFourth Place
1984
Details
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
3–2Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
Flag of England.svg
England
3–2Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg
South Korea
1986
Details
Jakarta, Indonesia Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
3–2Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
3–2Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
1988
Details
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
4–1Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
5–0Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark

1990 onwards

YearHostFinalSemi-finalists
WinnerScoreRunner-up
1990
Details
Tokyo, Japan Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
4–1Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
1992
Details
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
3–2Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg
South Korea
1994
Details
Jakarta, Indonesia Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
3–0Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg
South Korea
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
1996
Details
Hong Kong Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
5–0Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg
South Korea
1998
Details
Hong Kong SAR, China Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
3–2Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
2000
Details
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
3–0Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg
South Korea
Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
2002
Details
Guangzhou, China Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
3–2Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
2004
Details
Jakarta, Indonesia Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
3–1Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg
South Korea
2006
Details
Sendai and Tokyo, Japan Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
3–0Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
2008
Details
Jakarta, Indonesia Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
3–1Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg
South Korea
Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
2010
Details
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
3–0Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
2012
Details
Wuhan, China Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
3–0Flag of South Korea.svg
South Korea
Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
2014
Details
New Delhi, India Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
3–2Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
2016
Details
Kunshan, China Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
3–2Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
Flag of South Korea.svg
South Korea
Flag of Malaysia.svg
Malaysia
2018
Details
Bangkok, Thailand Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China
3–1Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
Flag of Indonesia.svg
Indonesia
Flag of Denmark.svg
Denmark
2020
Details
Aarhus, Denmark
2022
Details
Bangkok, Thailand
2024
Details
China

Successful national teams

Only five nations, Malaysia (formerly Malaya), Indonesia, China, Japan, and Denmark have ever won the Thomas Cup. Curiously, the first three each won the first Thomas Cup competition that it entered: Malaya, the initial contest in 1949; Indonesia, the 1958 contest against Malaya; and China, the 1982 contest over Indonesia.

Indonesia leads in total titles with thirteen. It won four consecutive titles from 1970 through 1979 and five consecutive titles from 1994 through 2002. Indonesia's ten-year reign as champions was ended by the resurgence of China in 2004 when the Chinese won the title in Jakarta. Indonesia has played in the decisive final tie (team match) on nineteen occasions. For the first time since their first entrance in 1958, Indonesia failed to reach the top four in 2012.

China has captured the Cup on nine occasions, including five consecutive times in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. Since 1982 when it first entered the competition China has won the most titles and has always placed among the top four teams, except in 2016 when they lost in quarter final.

Malaysia has won five times, the last being in 1992. It has played in the final tie on fourteen occasions.

In 2014 Japan became the fourth nation to have captured the Cup, doing so in its first appearance in the championship round. [16] Japan had finished among the "Final Four" on four previous occasions: 1967, 1979, 2010, and 2012; and in 1970 it had given the eventual champion Indonesia its toughest battle, going down 45 in the final of the Asian qualifier.

Despite its small population, Denmark has traditionally been Europe's strongest power in men's badminton and the only non-Asian team to have won the Thomas Cup. Being the only European nation to have played in the final tie, it had previously finished second eight times spanning from the first competition in 1949 through the 2006 tournament.

The USA, a power in the early days of international badminton (especially in women's competition), finished second to Malaya in 1952 but thereafter steadily fell behind the leading badminton nations.

Among all the other contending nations, South Korea has the best record. Rising to prominence in the 1980s, and especially strong in doubles, it had reached the "final four" seven times before finishing second in 2008 and 2012. India nearly reached the final twice in the 1950s. Despite some fine individual players it has lacked the depth, particularly in doubles, to seriously contend for the Cup. In Europe, England and Sweden have often joined Denmark in advancing to the final phase of Thomas Cup competition since 1984. England, traditionally more successful in women's play than in men's, had its best showing in 1984 with a third-place finish. Sweden, whose greatest badminton success spanned from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, has yet to advance to the semifinal round of Thomas Cup's final phase.

Below is the list of eight nations that have finished in the top two in Thomas Cup.

TeamChampionsRunners-up
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 13 (1958, 1961*, 1964, 1970, 1973*, 1976, 1979*, 1984, 1994*, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002)6 (1967*, 1982, 1986*, 1992, 2010, 2016)
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 10 (1982, 1986, 1988, 1990, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012*, 2018)2 (1984, 2000)
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia**5 (1949, 1952, 1955, 1967, 1992*)9 (1958, 1970*, 1976, 1988*, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2014)
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 1 (2016)8 (1949, 1955, 1964, 1973, 1979, 1996, 2004, 2006)
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1 (2014)1 (2018)
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 2 (2008, 2012)
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1 (1952)
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 1 (1961)
* = hosts
** = including Malaya

Team appearances at the final stages

The map shows countries that have qualified at least once for the Thomas Cup finale Thomas Cup.png
The map shows countries that have qualified at least once for the Thomas Cup finale

As of the 2018 championship twenty-eight teams have advanced to the final venue over the history of the Thomas Cup competition. Among them Denmark has reached this final stage in all thirty competitions (and without ever receiving a bye to it). Indonesia and China have also advanced to the final stage in each competition that they have entered. Geographically, ten Asian nations have qualified to play at the final venue. Nine European nations have done so. The United States, Canada, Peru and Mexico are the only Pan American teams to have reached this stage, and New Zealand and Australia, as one might expect, have been the only teams to represent Oceania. South Africa, Nigeria, and Algeria have qualified from the African zone.

2018 saw Algeria debuted in the championship.

Below is the list of teams that have appeared in the final stage of Thomas Cup as of the 2018 tournament.

30 times
27 times
19 times
18 times
14 times
13 times
11 times
10 times
9 times
7 times
6 times
5 times
4 times
3 times
2 times
1 time

References and footnotes

  1. Alleyne, Gayle (28 May 2014). "Next Thomas-Uber Stop – Kunshan, China!". Badminton World Federation. Bwfbadminton.org. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  2. "The Thomas Cup" . Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  3. 1 2 "Mengenal Sejarah Piala Thomas" (in Indonesian). Archived from the original on 2007-12-22. Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  4. "Der Thomas Cup" . Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  5. "THOMAS CUP – FIRST CONTEST" . Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  6. Davis, Pat (October 1983). Guinness Book of Badminton. Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 120–122. ISBN   978-0-85112-271-7.
  7. Davis, Pat (October 1983). Guinness Book of Badminton. Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 122–124. ISBN   978-0-85112-271-7.
  8. Davis, Pat (October 1983). Guinness Book of Badminton. Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 119, 124–128. ISBN   978-0-85112-271-7.
  9. http://badmintoneurope.com/cms/default.aspx?clubid=4685&m=484482&cmsid=239&pageid=5381
  10. https://system.bwfbadminton.com/documents/folder_1_81/Regulations/Major-Events/Part%20III%20-%20Section%202%20-%20Regulations%20for%20Thomas%20Cup%20&%20Uber%20Cup.pdf
  11. https://bwfthomasubercups.bwfbadminton.com/thomas-uber-cup-historic-journey/
  12. "Thomas and Uber Cups to Stay Together". badminton-information. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  13. "Thomas & Uber Cup Qualification discontinued". Badminton Europe. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  14. Alleyne, Gayle; Sukumar, Dev (6 June 2014). "Bonus for Superseries 'Top 10'". Badminton World Federation. Bwfbadminton.org. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  15. From 1948 to 1982, Thomas Cup actually played each edition for two years, the years shown here is only for final tournament.
  16. "Japan lifts Thomas Cup in debut final, stunning Malaysia 3-2". Malaysian Insider. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.

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