India Men’s Badminton team wrote history in Bangkok as they entered their first-ever Thomas Cup final by defeating Denmark 3-2.
A day prior, the India Men’s Badminton team had edged Malaysia by 3-2 to reach the semi finals of the Thomas Cup for the first time since 1979. In the semi finals, up against heavyweight Denmark, the Indian players rose over regional rivalries to stand united.
India’s rising star Lakshya Sen, lost the first match to world number one Viktor Axelsen by 13-21, 13-21. However, the Indians were quick to turn things around. The country’s best doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty beat Astrup and Christiansen 21-18, 21-23, 22-20 in a three-game contest to level things. Next Kidambi Srikanth made it 2-1 with a 21-18, 12-21, 21-15 win over world number 3 Anders Antonsen. However, Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Frederik Sogaard levelled it for Denmark when they defeated Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan 14-21, 13-21. At 2-2, it was entirely on H S Prannoy to sail India through to the final.
The Indian lost the first game 13-21 to Rasmus Gemke. He also suffered an ankle injury during the match. But the veteran Pranoy made a memorable comeback to win the next two games 21-9, 21-12.
As India entered the final of the Badminton event, the entire team entered the court to celebrate the win. India had won three bronze medals in the past by reaching the inter-zonal finals before the change of format. India will now play Indonesia in the final and is assured of at least a silver medal.