Thailand pull off stunning comeback victory in Thomas Cup opener

Vital role: Doubles stars Dechapol Puavaranukroh, left, and Kittinupong Kedren.

Suppanyu Avihingsanon's stunning comeback gave Thailand a thrilling 3-2 victory over Taiwan in the opening Group A tie of the BWF Thomas Cup world men's team championships in Aarhus, Denmark, on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Suppanyu dropped the first game against Chi Yu-jen 11-21 but rallied to win the thrilling second game 25-23 before securing the tie for Thailand with a 21-12 win in the third game of the decisive fifth rubber.

Taiwan raced into a 2-0 lead after Chou Tien-chen beat Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-18, 22-20 in the opening singles match and Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin defeated Supak Jomkoh and Tanupat Viriyangkura 21-15, 21-12 in the doubles.

Singles star Kunlavut Vitidsarn and doubles pair Kittinupong Kedren and Dechapol Puavaranukroh revived Thailand's hopes with successive victories.

World No.23 Kunlavut upset the 11th-ranked Wang Tzu-wei 24-22, 21-17 before Kittinupong and Dechapol, who are ranked 199th, teamed up to defeat world No.28 pair Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan 21-18, 21-17 in just 32 minutes.

Indonesia and Algeria, the other two teams in Group A, were to face off later last night.

Thailand will play Indonesia in their second group match tomorrow.

In the early Uber Cup results yesterday, Indonesia defeated Germany 4-1 in Group A while China cruised past Canada 5-0 in Group D.

Thailand's Uber Cup team, led by Ratchanok Intanon, take on Scotland in Group B today.

World No.6 Ratchanok is back in action after taking some time off following her mother's passing away in August.

India and Spain face off in the other Group B match today.

The BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020 are being held after a year's delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indonesia are the most successful team in the Thomas Cup, winning the title 13 times while China are the most successful nation in the Uber Cup after winning the top honours 14 times.

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