Bangkok: Coming to the 2022 Thomas Cup Finals as underdogs, the Indian men’s shuttlers proved they were the dark horses who have the capability of winning the title by beating the 14-times champions Indonesia 3-0 in the final on Sunday.
This will go on for some time now 🕺🥳
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Facing the defending champions in the Thomas Cup final, World No. 9 Lakshya Sen came back from 7-11 in the decider to stun Indonesia’s World No. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the first men’s singles match, 8-21, 21-17, 21-16 to give India a 1-0 head start.
After dropping the first game 18-21, India’s World No. 8 men’s pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty who only lost to the Tokyo Olympics champions – Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin in the Group C tie between India and Chinese Taipei, stubbornly saved 4 match-points in the second set against Indonesia’s scratch pair – Mohammad Ahsan/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo to win the second game 23-21 and to force a decider.
Rankireddy/Shetty remained resilient in the decider, coming back from 13-16, and 17-18 down to ultimately hand India an unassailable 2-0 lead by winning the third-set 21-19.
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In the second men’s singles match that followed, former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth was determined to create history for his country when he needed only 19 minutes to tame World No. 8 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia 21-15.
📽️ THAT WINNING MOMENT 🏸
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Christie had a good chance to force a decider and to keep Indonesia’s hopes alive in the Thomas Cup final when he was leading 20-19 in the second set. Nevertheless, the current World No. 11 Srikanth looked focused, winning one point at a time to eventually beat Christie 23-21 in the second set and to clinch the Thomas Cup trophy for India.
“This might sound a little dramatic. But you know, when, when I was in Korea for the Korea Masters, and the following week we had selection trials… immediately after those trials, when the team got announced, we created a (Whatsapp) group saying, you know, ‘We’ll Bring It Home’, or something like that,” said Srikanth to BWF after the tie.
“This happened a week before the tournament started. So yeah… we always thought we are capable, but we only had to be consistent. Coming here, it was a fantastic team and we had a great atmosphere. We were a happy team, and we were supporting each other and backing each other,” added Srikanth.
“Every win, every achievement has its uniqueness. India has never won the Thomas Cup before this. Now to be part of a team that has won the Thomas Cup and to contributes to the team’s win gives me a lot of happiness,” explained Srikanth.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi also congratulated the Indian men’s team by tweeting:
“The Indian badminton team has scripted history! The entire nation is elated by India winning the Thomas Cup…”
The Indian sports ministry has also announced that it will reward the Indian Thomas Cup team with a USD $129,000 cash prize.