India deny HK place in Thomas Cup finals

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 February, 2006, 12:00am

Hong Kong failed to reach the Thomas Cup finals after losing to hosts India 3-2 in their last group match in the qualifying tournament in Jaipur.

Both Hong Kong and the hosts beat the other team of the group, Singapore, in their respective matches, and the winner between the two would therefore qualify for the cup finals to be held in Japan in May.

Hong Kong suffered a setback in the first tie when Ng Wei, ranked 12 in the world, was defeated by Indian's Chetan Anand, ranked 26, in a closely contested match.

Ng lost the first set 24-26 after deuce and went down 21-19 in the second set.

Although Augs Hariyanto levelled the score at 1-all by downing Arvind Bhat 21-19, 21-16, Hong Kong lost the following two ties in both singles and doubles - and the chance to appear in the finals.

Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama was able to extend his match against Anup Shridhar to three sets but it was still not good enough to win it as he lost 17-21, 21-18, 21-12. The doubles was also decided in three sets, but Albertus Njoto and Liu Kwok-wa also could not maintain their efforts after taking the first set 21-11 and lost the following two 21-18, 21-10.

Hong Kong won the dead rubber in the second doubles, closing the gap to 3-2, but it made no difference to the final outcome.

Other teams who made it into the finals were South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia.

In the Uber Cup, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan won through.