Only one European country has ever won the prestigious tournament.
The Thomas Cup is a team competition played between member countries of the Badminton World Federation (BWF). It began way back in 1948, with an edition taking place once every three years. Later in 1982, the format changed to a biennial tournament, i.e., taking place once every two years.
Along the lines of the Thomas Cup, which is for men, there is also the Uber Cup, which consists of women’s badminton players. Both tournaments have a very rich history. Asian countries in particular dominate the sport of Badminton. Similarly, in the context of the Thomas Cup, only five countries have ever won the title and only one of them is from Europe.
The 2022 edition of the Thomas Cup will be very competitive as well. It will be interesting to see if the usual favourites will take the title or if there will be a surprise winner. However, history favours a few nations in particular that have won it multiple times. On that note, here is a look at five countries that have won the Thomas Cup most number of times:
Japan – 1
Japan has one Thomas Cup title in its locker. The Asian country has occasionally produced sensational badminton players. The country won its one and only championship in 2014. They beat Malaysia by 3-2 in the final of the edition that took place in New Delhi, India.
Japanese shuttlers almost secured another title in 2018. They reached the final but lost out to China in Bangkok, Thailand. Later in 2020, Japan reached the semi-finals but failed to make it to the final fixture.
Denmark – 1
Denmark is the only European country to ever win the Thomas Cup. They broke into Asian dominance by winning the 2016 edition of the tournament in Kunshan, China. It was a tough final fixture with an Indonesian team that had not won the tournament since 2002.
Denmark overcame their opponents by a 3-2 score. Viktor Axelsen beat Tommy Sugiarto to give the team a strong start and the deciding encounter saw Hans-Kristian Vittinghus defeat Ihsan Maulana Mustofa to win the championship.
Malaysia – 5
Malaysia has won the Thomas Cup five times in its history. However, the country has not won it in the past three decades. Their last triumph came way back in 1992. That edition of the Thomas Cup also took place in Malaysia itself.
The final saw the host nation come up against Asian powerhouse Indonesia. Against heavy odds, Malaysia beat Indonesia by a 3-2 scoreline. Since then, Malaysia has entered the final four times but failed at the last hurdle.
China – 10
China is the second-most successful country in the Thomas Cup. The country has 10 tournament wins and is one of only two countries to win it in double digits. Their last win at the prestigious badminton tournament came four years ago, in 2018.
Meeting Japan in the final of the 2018 Thomas Cup held in Bangkok, Thailand, China emerged 3-1 winners. China has also finished as runners up on three occasions.
Indonesia – 14
Indonesia is the most successful country in the history of the Thomas Cup. The country has 14 championship wins. It produces exceptional badminton players constantly. Badminton is a major part of sports in Indonesia with huge interest shown from the upcoming shuttlers.
The most recent Thomas Cup win by Indonesia was in 2020. They beat China by 3-0 in the final, making them defending champions ahead of the 2022 edition. Indonesia remains a major power centre in the world of badminton and it could take several years for any country to better their tally of Thomas Cup wins.