India lift Thomas Cup for the first time ever


India's badminton team celebrate their historic Thomas Cup win. - Badminton Photo

BANGKOK, Thailand: India have won the Thomas Cup for the first time after a historic 3-0 win over Indonesia.

It was a magical moment for giant-slayers India.

Seasoned campaigner Srikanth Kidambi became the hero when he oozed class in his 21-15, 23-21 win against Jonatan Christie in power-packed second singles match.

India got off to a superb start in their bid to win their first Thomas Cup when Lakshya Sen delivered the first point in the tie against Indonesia in the final at the Impact Arena here.

The 20-year-old showed he had recovered from a bout of food poisoning even after a setback in the first game to defeat Anthony Ginting 8-21, 21-17, 21-19.

"I arrived here in Bangkok (from the Asian Championships in Manila) with food poisoning. I could hardly walk and was not at my best in previous matches but to be able to win in a crucial match today is amazing," said Lakshya.

"I'm so happy to have won the first point. I was nervous at the start but I stayed focussed despite the expectations on me.

"It's already history for India to come this far. We hope to go all the way," he said.

On paper, India was expected to lose the first doubles but Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty ripped the formbook apart when they upstaged Indonesian scratch pair Mohammad Ahsan-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19 in 73 minutes to give the team a fantastic 2-0 lead.

Even when they were trailing 17-20 in the second game, the Indian pair refused to give up. It was close in the decider but they powered their way through for a strong finish.

"I'm just speechless... we have contributed a point in doubles against Indonesia," said Chirag.

"They were favourites but today, we were not in a rush. We kept in the game, taking one point at a time. We knew we had a chance and we pulled it off," said Satwiksairaj.

It was their third big scalp having beaten Malaysia 3-2 in the quarter-finals and Denmark 3-2 in the semi-finals.

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Badminton , Thomas Cup , India , Indonesia , Bangkok

   

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