India beats Indonesia to win historic Thomas Cup gold
- Lakshya Sen, Satwik-Chirag and Kidambi Srikanth won three successive matches
- India won the Thomas Cup gold with two matches in hand
- It is India's maiden Thomas Cup gold in the tournament's 72-year-old history
The Indian men's badminton team defeated 14-time champions Indonesia in the Thomas Cup final to win the team championship gold medal at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.
In the 72-year-old history of the sport's biggest team championship, India's best prior to this gold medal-winning performance was a top-four finish, that came in 1952, 1955 and 1979.
On Sunday at the Impact Arena in Bangkong, India, who were regarded as the underdogs in the tournament, made the most of their blazing form to trump favourites Indonesia, who were also the defending champions.
India got off to a great start as World No. 9 Lakshya Sen, for the first time in the knockouts, won his match as the World Championships bronze medallist defeated World No. 5 Anthony Ginting by 8-21, 21-17, 21-16 in a thrilling tie. With this win, Sen, who lost his last three matches, made it 2-0 against his Indonesian rival.
In the second draw, India’s top-ranked men's doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty held their nerves and got better off World No. 1 Mohammad Ahsan- Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19 to register the most remarkable victory of their career, to give India a 2-0 lead.
In the third game, former World No. 1 and World Championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth, continuing his winning streak in Thomas Cup, defeated World No. 8 Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21 to make it 3-0.
Srikanth got some resistance from Christie in the second game but then there was the classic in-form Indian on the other side of the court to thrash the Indonesian.
Srikanth was terrific at the court with his jump mash and crosscourt smash as he jumped in the air to celebrate India's historic Thomas Cup victory. The Indian team, coached by Pullela Gopichand, exhaled in joy.
After the All England wins of Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand and then PV Sindhu's Olympic medal and World Championships gold, the Thomas Cup gold is another magnificent achievement added to Indian badminton's growing stature.