Thomas Cup 2022: India’s route to historic gold medal match against Indonesia-Sports News , Firstpost
India qualified for their first-ever Thomas Cup final after beating heavyweights Denmark 3-2. They face 14-time champions Indonesia in the title clash.
Indian badminton wrote history in Bangkok when the men’s team qualified for their first-ever Thomas Cup final after beating heavyweights Denmark 3-2 on Friday night.
A day prior, they had edged Malaysia by the same margin to reach the semi-finals for the first time in 43 years. It was history in itself as India secured at least a bronze medal by reaching the semi-finals, their first medal at the event since the change of format.
India had won three bronze medals in the past by reaching the inter-zonal finals. Now they are assured of at least a silver medal and a win over Indonesia, on 15 May, can clinch a historic gold.
The celebrations after the semis win over Denmark spoke of what it means to Indian badminton contingent.
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.
Semi-finals 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.
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!
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