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Americans on the double in Pan Am qualifiers

The United States have qualified for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Finals in Wuhan, China from May 20-27, after winning the Pan-Am qualifiers on Sunday.

Five teams competed in the Uber Cup qualifiers with the teams playing each other once in a round robin format.

America and Canada entered Sunday’s final match against each other with perfect records after beating Brazil, Barbados and Puerto Rico 5-0 respectively.

As such, their encounter was a final of sorts and the teams didn’t disappoint with some great action on the courts before the United States carved out a narrow 3-2 victory to earn their ticket to China.

It was their strength in the doubles which gave the US the advantage as Eva Lee-Paula Lynn Obanana (above), and Jamie Subandhi-Rena Wang defeated Alex Bruce-Michelle Li 21-17, 19-21, 23-21, and Joycelyn Ko-Grace Gao 21-6, 21-8, respectively, as the Americans overcame a 2-1 deficit.

Earlier, Li (left), continued her brilliant singles form in the tournament when she defeated Rena Wang 21-19, 22-20, in the first singles to give Canada the lead.

Iris Wang made the score 1-1 when she defeated Ko 22-20, 21-14, before Christina Tsai overcame a first game loss to beat Subandhi 17-21, 21-15, 21-9, as Canada regained the lead.

That set the stage for a grandstand finish which ended in the American’s favour.

Eight teams took part in the Thomas Cup and they were separated into two groups of four with the Americans and Guatemala reaching the final.

The Americans started the match determined to make up for their 3-2 loss to the same opponents in the group stage, but didn’t get off to a good start in the opening singles.

Kevin Cordon (right), who made his name as a giant killer after defeating China’s Chen Long in last year’s World Championships, maintained his unbeaten run in the tournament when he defeated Sattawat Pongnairat        22-20, 21-14 to give Guatemala the perfect start.

The Americans, however, came roaring back and Howard Shu, Howard Bach-Pongnairat and Nicholas Jinadasa won the next three ties to give the United States the ticket to China.

Shu beat Rodolfo Ramirez 21-14, 21-14, in the second singles before Bach-Pongnairat gave the Americans the lead with a 21-12, 21-5, victory over Anibal Marroquin-Jonathan Solis.

Jinadasa then defeated Heymard Humblers 21-6, 19-21, 21-19, to clinch the tie.

For full results, click here.

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