Thomas Cup

In the final in Bangkok, a resolute Indian men’s team carved its mark on history by winning the Thomas Cup for the first time ever, defeating 14 time winners Indonesia by 3-0. India put on a show to remember, with medalist Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, as well as the worldwide number 8 doubles combo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy putting on an unforgettable game.

The topic has a very high chance of being asked as a UPSC Prelims Current Affairs Question, as it has been in the news recently.

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Thomas Cup UPSC Notes PDF –Download PDF Here

About Thomas Cup

The Thomas Cup, also known as the World Men’s Team Championships, is a global badminton tournament held every two years between teams representing member countries of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the sport’s regulatory body. Since 1982, the tournaments have been contested every 2 years, having previously been held every 3 years since its first event in 1948–1949. The championship’s final stage has 12 teams participating at locations in the host country, and it runs simultaneously with the Uber Cup (initially held in 1956–1957), the global women’s team championship. The two Competitions have been played together at various levels of play from 1984. With regards to player and fan engagement, the Thomas Cup and, to a smaller extent, the Uber Cup are two of the world’s “largest” and most renowned regularly organised badminton competitions.

Just six nations have lifted the Thomas Cup in the 30 competitions contested since 1948–1949. With 14 victories, Indonesia is by far the most victorious team. China, which did not start competing until 1982, is in second place with ten championships, while Malaysia has five.  After defeating Malaysia 3–2 in the 2014 final, Japan has become the fourth nation to lift the Thomas Cup. After defeating Indonesia 3–2 in the 2016 final, Copenhagen became the first European and fifth country to win the Thomas Cup. The tournament was won for the very first time by a non-Asian team. India is the current title holder, having won the very first championship in 2022 after defeating defending champions Indonesia by 3-0.
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Thomas Cup Winners

Year Host Winner
1949 Preston, England Malaya
1952 Singapore Malaya
1955 Singapore Malaya
1958 Singapore Indonesia
1961 Jakarta, Indonesia Indonesia
1964 Tokyo, Japan Indonesia
1967 Jakarta, Indonesia Malaysia
1970 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Indonesia
1973 Jakarta, Indonesia Indonesia
1976 Bangkok, Thailand Indonesia
1979 Jakarta, Indonesia Indonesia
1982 London, England China
1984 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Indonesia
1986 Jakarta, Indonesia China
1988 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia China
1990 Tokyo, Japan China
1992 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia
1994 Jakarta, Indonesia Indonesia
1996 Hong Kong Indonesia
1998 Hong Kong SAR, China Indonesia
2000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Indonesia
2002 Guangzhou, China Indonesia
2004 Jakarta, Indonesia China
2006 Sendai and Tokyo, Japan China
2008 Jakarta, Indonesia China
2010 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia China
2012 Wuhan, China China
2014 New Delhi, India Japan
2016 Kunshan, China Denmark
2018 Bangkok, Thailand China
2020 Aarhus, Denmark Indonesia
2022 Bangkok, Thailand India

Ranked Winners

Team Years Number of Times
  • 1958
  • 1961
  • 1964
  • 1970
  • 1973
  • 1976
  • 1979
  • 1984
  • 1994
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2020
  • 1982
  • 1986
  • 1988
  • 1990
  • 2004
  • 2006
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2012
  • 2018
  • 1949
  • 1952
  • 1955
  • 1967
  • 1992
  • 2016
  • 2014
  • 2022

Frequently Asked Questions about the Thomas Cup and Badminton:


Why is it named Thomas Cup?

The Thomas Cup competition was the idea of Sir George Alan Thomas, a highly successful English badminton player of the early 1900s, who was inspired by tennis’s Davis Cup, and football’s (soccer’s) World Cup first held in 1930.

Which country has won the Thomas Cup and international badminton competition the maximum number of times?

China is the most successful badminton team in history, having won the Thomas Cup 9 times. China has also won more medals in badminton at the Olympics than any other country.

Which is the oldest badminton tournament?

The All England Open Badminton Championships, or simply All England, is the world’s oldest and most prestigious badminton tournament. Played annually, it developed after the success of the world’s first open tournament held in Guildford in 1898.

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