Thomas Cup: Indian Men's Badminton Team Makes History With First-Ever Gold
The Indian men's badminton team beat 14-time champions and holders Indonesia in the final on Sunday to win a maiden gold medal at Thomas Cup
In one of the most memorable moments for Indian sports, the men's badminton team beat 14-time champions and holders Indonesia in the final on Sunday to win a maiden gold medal at Thomas Cup. First-time finalists India produced a stunning performance in the final to blank Indonesia 3-0 and script history. It all started with 20-year-old Lakshya Sen beating Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Anthony Ginting. Doubles stars Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty then gave India a 2-0 lead by beating Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19. And finally, Kidambi Srikanth sealed India's historic win by outclassing Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21.
It was the first time that India had even reached the final at Thomas Cup, but showed nerves of steel throughout in the final.
Lakshya Sen and doubles pairing of Rankireddy-Shetty both came back after losing their respective opening games.
In fact, Sen had been drubbed 8-21 in the opening game against Ginting. But he came back strongly to win the second game 21-17.
The Indian then put on a procession in the third, wowing all with the cat-like reflexes and stubborn defence to win game 21-16.
Rankireddy and Shetty then had the unenviable task of going up against Ahsan and Sukamuljo. The Indonesian pair won the opening game 21-18.
They then had a big lead in the second game but Rankireddy-Shetty came back from the dead, saving four match points to win the second game 23-21.
The decider was a hotly-contested affair with little to separate the two teams but in the end, the Indians kept their nerves to give the team a 2-0 lead.
Then came Srikanth's turn, The shuttler had been in top form throughout the tournament and once again came to the party.
He took just 19 minutes to wrap up the first game against Christie. Srikanth was coasting in the second game, leading 11-8 at the mid-break interval.
The Indonesian, however, came back strongly to open up a 16-13 lead but Srikanth kept plugging away and refused to give up.
Srikanth then saved a game point at 20-21 before closing out the game and the match to give India a memorable win.