Lakshya Sen, doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/ Chirag Shetty and Kidambi Srkianth won their respective matches to help India secure the title.
Indian men’s badminton team scripted history by winning the Thomas Cup 2022 on Sunday. They had done it without losing a match in the final. India entered the final for the first time by defeating Denmark 3-2 in the semi-final and the boys put up an even better performance to outclass the 14-time winners in Bangkok. It all started with India’s star shuttler Lakshya Sen registering a thrilling come from behind victory against Anthony Ginting in the first match. The world championship bronze medalist lost the first game but showed great character to win the next two and pocket the match with a scoreline of 8-21, 21-17, 21-16. In the first doubles match, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also had to dig deep deep to get the better of Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya 18-21, 23-21, 21-19. And then, in the third match Kidambi Srikanth who hasn’t tasted defeat in this year’s Thomas Cup, beat Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21 to make it 3-0 and clinch the gold medal for India.
HISTORY SCRIPTED 🥺❤️
Pure show of grit and determination & India becomes the #ThomasCup champion for the 1️⃣st time in style, beating 14 times champions Indonesia 🇮🇩 3-0 in the finals 😎
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) May 15, 2022
After being not at his best in the knockout stages, India’s star shuttler Sen produced a stunning performance to get the better of Ginting and make it 1-0. The All England Open finalist displayed great temperament and skill to beat world number five Ginting. It was the 20-year-old’s second win in as many meetings against Ginting. The match was fast paced with both shuttlers producing angled returns in the rallies to put each other in awkward positions. The first game was clearly dominated by Ginting as he easily walked away with it. After the change of ends, Sen played better and went into the break with a four point lead.
Sen managed to stay ahead despite some resistance from Ginting and leveled it to take the match to the decider. In the final game, Ginting started off brightly and took a 5-1 lead. But Lakshya once again showed that he is made of steel to slowly close down the gap and then managed to establish a 11-7 lead at the break. After the break, Sen slowly pulled away with a flurry of points to move to 18-14 before pocketing the set with a tight net shot that kissed the tape and fell over.
Next it was Satwik and Chirag’s turn to show their class. Once again, the Indian duo lost the first game narrowly but came back strong in the second and took the match to the decider after saving three match points. In the third game, India led 11-9 at the break. It was a neck-and-neck affair as the scores became 16-16. India made a smart decision under pressure to win a video referral. Satwik unleashed a powerful smash and once Sukamulyo went to the net, it was two match point advantage for India. Indonesia saved one before Chirag produced a cross court smash to close the contest and extend the lead to 2-0.
In the second singles match, Srikanth played a smart and tactical game, keeping the rallies short and nailing it every time the shuttle was in the hitting zone, to beat world number 8 Christie. Srikanth started off positively to move 8-3 up but he committed too many unforced errors, allowing Christie to make it 15-15. The former world number one though showed controlled aggression to make it 20-16 and sealed it when Christie went to net. The second game was a thighter affair as Christie managed to turn the tables with a six-point burst from 10-13 to jump to take a three-point cushion. Fight back has been India’s hallmark in this year’s Thomas cup and Srikanth was no different as he drew level at 18-18. Christie was not willing to give up easily either as he moved to the game point. But Srikanth managed to save one and Christie again moved to a game point with a quick reflex. Srikanth then grabbed a championship point with a smash and sealed it with another cracking jump-smash.