Thomas Cup: India's route to historic gold medal
India won their first-ever Thomas Cup trophy by beating Indonesia on Sunday.
India created history when the men's badminton team clinched its maiden Thomas Cup trophy on Sunday with a dominant 3-0 win over 14-time champions Indonesia in the final at Bangkok on Sunday.
This was India's first-ever final at the Thomas Cup. Their previous best at the tournament was a bronze in 1979, 1955 and 1952, but this is the first time that the team has won a medal at the event since the change in the format.
Let's take a look at how the route to history was charted at the Impact Arena by the Indian men's team.
India were placed in Group C which also included Chinese Taipei, Germany and Canada. India entered the tournament with a strong squad that comprises World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen, World Championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and Priyanshu Rajawat as singles players. Doubles include pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila and Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan Goud.
India 5-0 Germany
India blanked Germany 5-0 in their first group tie.
Lakshya Sen started with an easy 21-16, 21-13 win over Max Weisskirchen. The doubles pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag were troubled by Jones Ralfy Jansen and Marvin Seidel but won 21-15, 10-21, 21-13. World no 11 Srikanth secured an 18-21, 21-9, 21-11 win over Kai Schafer.
Arjun and Dhruv Kapila defeated Bjarne Geiss and Jan Colin Voelker 25-23, 21-15, while world no 23 Prannoy clinched a 21-9, 21-9 win over Matthias Kicklitz.
India 5-0 Canada
India defeated Canada and booked their spot in the knockout stage.
Lakshya Sen was rested for this tie. Srikanth won the first match by fighting back from a game down to beat Brian Yang 20-22, 21-11, 21-15. The doubles pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag beat Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Kevin Lee 21-12, 21-22, before Prannoy won against BR Sankeerth 21-15, 21-12 to clinch the tie.
Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan defeated Dong Adam and Nyl Yakura 21-15, 21-11. And Priyanshu Rajawat won the last match against Victor Lal 21-13, 20-22, 21-14.
India 2-3 Chinese Taipei
India lost out on the top spot in the group stage after losing to Chinese Taipei.
Lakshya Sen lost to world no 4 Chou Tien Chen 21-19, 13-21, 21-17 in the first match. Satwiksairaj and Chirag succumbed to world no 3 pairing of Lee Yang and Chi-Lin Wang 21-11, 21-19.
Srikanth pulled back things by beating Tzu Wei Wang 21-19, 21-16, but Arjun and Dhruv Kapila's defeat to Lu Ching Yao and Po Han Yang by 21-17, 19-21, 21-19 gave the opposition the tie. Prannoy won the dead rubber against Lu Chia Hung 21-18, 17-21, 21-18.
India 3-2 Malaysia
Lakshya Sen lost the opening match to world No 6 Lee Zii Jia 23-21, 21-9. But Satwiksairaj and Chirag helped India level the score with a win over Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin by 21-19, 21-15. Srikanth put India 2-1 ahead with a 21-11, 21-17 victory over NG Tze Yong.
Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan's 19-21, 17-21 loss to Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi helped Malaysia make a comeback before Prannoy clinched the tie for India with a historic 21-13, 21-8 win over Leong Jun Hao.
By beating Malaysia, India secured a medal at the Thomas Cup for the first time in 43 years and also their first at the event since the change of format.
India 3-2 Denmark
World number one Viktor Axelsen gave Denmark a 1-0 lead with a comfortable 21-13, 21-13 win over Lakshya Sen. However, India were quick to turn things around. Satwiksairaj and Chirag beat Astrup and Christiansen 21-18, 21-23, 22-20 in a three-game contest to level things before Srikanth made it 2-1 with a 21-18, 12-21, 21-15 win over world number 3 Anders Antonsen.
MISSION Dream of a billion plus just came true. Absolute champion stuff from our boys as they became the first ever team to advance into the S of #ThomasCup Kudos to entire coaching team & support staffs. Take a bow@himantabiswa#ThomasCup2022#IndiaontheRise pic.twitter.com/cGdeFJIZD7 — BAI Media (@BAI_Media) May 13, 2022
Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan, however, lost to Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Frederik Sogaard 14-21, 13-21. At 2-2, it all came down to Prannoy's match vs Rasmus Gemke. The Indian lost the first game 13-21 but despite suffering an ankle injury during the match the veteran mounted a memorable comeback to win the next two games 21-9, 21-12 to make history for India as they reached their first-ever Thomas Cup final!
India 3-0 Indonesia
Lakshya Sen gave India a 1-0 lead with a come-from-behind 8-21, 21-17, 21-16 win over world number five Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
In the second match, India's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty saved four match points in the second game to eventually beat Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19.
Kidambi Srikanth got better of Asian games gold medallist Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21 in 48 minutes to script history for India as they won the final 3-0.
This will go on for some time now
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) May 15, 2022
BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma announced an award of ₹1 crore for the players of Indian men's team that scripted history by lifting the coveted Thomas Cup for the first time.
India, competing in their debut Thomas Cup final, sealed the title when Kidambi Srikanth defeated Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21.
Thomas Cup 2022 final: India beat 14-time champions Indonesia in the final of the men's team competition in Bangkok, Thailand to clinch the gold medal.