Thomas Cup: The Indian men’s badminton team defeated Malaysia 3-2 to enter the semi-finals of the Thomas Cup for the first time in 43 years. India thus ensured at least a bronze medal in the Thomas Cup. The country has not won a medal in the event since 1979. India had earlier won three bronzes by reaching the inter-zonal final. This is the first time after the change in the qualifying format that the country has ensured a medal in the prestigious tournament.
Indian players amazing
Against a team that won the title five times, the men’s doubles pair of world number eight Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, World Championship silver medalists Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy led India to victory. India’s next match will be against Korea or Denmark. The Indian team had high hopes from World Championship bronze winner Lakshya Sen, but he could not give the team the lead in the opening singles match. He lost 21-239-21 to defending world champion Li Jie Jia in a 46-minute match.
Doubles pair won
The Malaysian fans were cheering for their players but the pair of Chirag and Satwiksairaj put on a stellar performance to beat world No. 13 Goh Se Fei and Noor Izzudin 21-19, 21-15, in a five-match tie. Made a return Srikkanth then went on to beat world No. 46 Ng Tje Yong 21-11 21-17 with his powerful game to extend India’s lead to 2-1. World ranking 45th-ranked pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala, however, then suffered defeats against Aaron Chia and Teo Yee, putting India on the hunt to take India to the next round.
World ranking 23rd-ranked Prannoy was initially trailing 1-6 but he made a spectacular comeback against 22-year-old Hun Hao Leong to seal India’s medal with a 21-13 21-8 victory.