World Badminton Championships medallist Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and World No 8 doubles duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy starred in India’s first-ever Thomas Cup victory.
India defeated 14-time winners and 2021 champions Indonesia 3-0 to clinch their maiden title in the first attempt.
Team India had previously reached the semi-finals of the prestigious tournament in 1952, 1955, and 1979.
India is only the sixth country to win the Thomas Cup.
The big final got underway with Lakshya Sen putting on an inspired show to get India off to a great start.
Sen came into the final with defeats in the quarterfinal and semifinal, but turned the tide against Anthony Ginting in the finals, winning 8-21, 21-17, 21-16.
Shetty and Rankireddy also took time to find their footing, losing the the first game 18-21, against Kevin Sukamuljo and Mohammad Ahsan. The duo came back emphatically in the second with 23-21 and clinched the decider 21-19, to build the momentum for Team India in the finals.
All eyes were now on singles star Srikanth. The World No. 11 was unbeaten in the tournament and ran through his opponent, the No. 8-ranked Jonatan Christie securing a straight game win 21-15, 23-21 in under an hour, to hand India a piece of history.
HS Prannoy, who played crucial roles in the previous two knockout matches to bring Team India into the finals, as well as doubles pair MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, didn’t get to play but sealed their spots in Indian badminton history.
On winning the Thomas Cup, K Krishna, father of Srikanth said, ‘first of all, thanks to GoI & Badminton Association of India (BAI). I am very happy that the Indian team achieved the Thomas Cup after long & my son was a part of it.’
Badminton Association of India president Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday announced a total prize money of Rs 1 crore for the Thomas Cup winning squad.
Sarma also announced prize money of Rs 20 lakh for the support staff.
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