KUALA LUMPUR (APRIL 21, 2010): Out of the 25 Thomas Cup tournaments held since 1948-1949, only three countries – Malaysia, Indonesia and China – have won the Thomas Cup, at times called the World Men’s Team Championships.

Indonesia is the most successful team, having won the prestigious silverware 13 times. China, who have won the title seven times and are the current holders of the Thomas Cup.

Malaysia, who will host this year’s Thomas Cup Finals at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, are next, winning the title five times.

The Thomas Cup, which stands at 28 inches high and 16 inches across at its widest, consists of three parts – a pedestal, a bowl and a lid with player figure and was produced by Atkin Bros of London at a cost of US$40,000.

The Thomas Cup competition was the brainchild of Sir George Alan Thomas, a highly successful English player of the 1900’s.

Malaysia (then known as Malaya) became the first holders of the Thomas Cup, beating Denmark 8-1 in the final that was played in Preston, England in 1949.

In the 1952 final that was played in Singapore, Malaysia whipped the United State 7-2 retained the silverware.

Malaysia completed a hattrick in 1955 with a 8-1 whiteash of Denmark in the final that was also played in Singapore.

Indonesia took a grip on the Thomas Cup from 1958 to 1964 – upsetting defending champions Malaysia 6-3 in the 1958 final played in Singapore. In the 1961 final played in Jakarta, Indonesia outplayed Thailand 6-3 and edged Denmark in Tokyo in 1964.

Malaysia regained the title in 1967 with an impressive 6-3 win over Indonesia in Jakarta. But the Indonesians handed Malaysia a taste of their own medicine in 1970 to regain the Thomas Cup with a 7-2 win in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesia went on to win the much sought after silverware in 1973 beating Denmark 8-1 in the final in Jakarta, beating Malaysia 9-0 in the 1976 final played in Bangkok and Denmark (9-0) in the 1979 final in Jakarta.

China burst on to the scene as a new member of the International Badminton Federation (IBF), now known as Badminton World Federation (BWF) and defeated Indonesia 5-4 in a classic final in London.

Thus began an era continuing which has seen either China or Indonesia capture or retain the Cup. This pattern has been broken only once, by Malaysia in 1992 when the Malaysians edged Indonesia 3-2 to regain the Cup.

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