Finally, Thomas Cup for Park Joo Bong
Four years ago in Kuala Lumpur, Japan created history by entering the Thomas Cup semi-finals for the first time. They achieved the same result two years ago in Wuhan, losing in the semi-finals to eventual winners China. This time around in New Delhi, Japan have rewritten history by storming into the finals, and they further adorned it by setting hands on the Thomas Cup in their first time showing up in the final.
Behind all the history created by Japan is their head coach Park Joo Bong, who despite being one of the most successful shuttlers in the history of badminton, never won the Thomas Cup during his reign as a player for Korea. Park was part of the coaching squad in Malaysia the last time the team made it into the Thomas Cup final 12 years ago, and was also a coach in Korea’s national team when Korea entered the semi-finals in 2004. After decades of longing for the Thomas Cup as a player and a coach, Park finally had his hands on the trophy in New Delhi.
The 2014 Thomas and Uber Cup championships ended with Park Joo Bong being one of the biggest winners of the week, having led Japan’s men’s team to their historical victory and their women’s team into their first Uber Cup final in 33 years.