The holders aimed for a 16th title in the women’s team championship but with the countries in a deadlock at 2-2 it all boiled down to a singles match between China’s 15th ranked Wang Zhiyi and 46th ranked Sim Yu-jin.
Sim, who turned 23 on Friday, got upset by beating Wang 28-26, 18-21, 21-8 in an exciting 88 minutes – and with it South Korea’s first Uber Cup crown in 12 years.
It was a hugely disappointing end for China, who had jumped out to an early lead in the match when Chen Yufei sealed a spectacular come-from-behind victory against An Se-young in a marathon match full of drama.
Korea Kina and China 🇨🇳 hosted a grand show in the Uber Cup 🏆 decider. # ThomasUberCups # Bangkok2022 https://t.co/z2bqH0hrru
– BWF (@bwfmedia) 1652537227000
Chen, the world’s third and Olympic gold medalist in Tokyo, lost 21-17 in the opening match to fourth-ranked An.
An built up a lead of five points early in the second match but Chen roared back to take that match 21-15 and sealed the decision with 22-20 even though she suffered an injury in the ankle.
An, who is still only 20, had his own problem with cramps in his right heel and both players collapsed on the pitch in exhaustion after 91 minutes of strenuous action.
A disappointed and emotional An, who triumphed over the top-ranked Japanese star Akane Yamaguchi a day earlier, said she was worried she had let down her teammates.
“I tried my best, as much as I could … I was on 20 points but then I lost control,” she said of her failure to use three match points.
Indonesia plays India in Sunday’s Thomas Cup, the men’s championship, also in the Thai capital.