"Odds Were Totally Against Us": Chirag Shetty On India's Thomas Cup Win
Chirag Shetty, part of India's Thomas Cup gold-winning team, said the odds were against them, but their belief helped them make history.
Indian shuttler Chirag Shetty, who recently brought honour to the country by winning the Thomas Cup 2022, returned to the capital city of Maharastra on Wednesday night. The Indian team scripted history on Sunday by winning the first-ever Thomas Cup crown ever since its inception in 1949. "I am extremely glad after winning this tournament. I never felt this way after winning any other tournament. This is really a big win. Earlier, we never achieved anything great in Thomas Cup, so this time we were highly motivated to win and luckily we did it," Chirag told ANI.
In what was India's first-ever appearance in the tournament finale, Indian Badminton team defeated the record 14-time champions Indonesia in the Thomas Cup 2022 final at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand by 3-0 to lift the coveted trophy.
"We were facing Indonesia in the finals, who were already the 14-time champions of the Thomas Cup and on the other hand there was India, who had reached the finals for the very first time. The odds were totally against us. But there was one thing which was in our favour and that was our belief. All members of the team believed that they can win and this spirit helped us win the tournament," said Chirag.
No Indian team has previously reached the final of the Thomas and Uber Cup in its 70-plus year history. Indian men reached the Thomas Cup semi-finals in 1952, 1955 and 1979 while the women's team made it to the Uber Cup top-four in 2014 and 2016.
The Indian team, featuring Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and others, have given a good account of themselves at this year's tournament.