BANGKOK (Reuters) – In an age test, India’s men’s badminton clinched the Thomas Cup title with a crushing 3-0 victory over solid Indonesia on Sunday, a historic victory that will cement the country’s position in the the sport.
World Championship medalists Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth along with doubles players Chirag Shetty and Satwiksiraj Rankeridi reached the all-important moment to shock the 14-time champion.
In the round of 16, young Sen gave India a 1-0 lead with an 8-21, 21-17, 21-16 streak over world number five Anthony Sinisuka Genting in a superb display. Temperament and skill.
The country’s best doubles pair, Rankiridi and Vashti, then showed courage by saving four match points in the second round to eventually beat Muhammed Ahsan/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamoljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19.
In the second single, Srikanth defeated Asian Games gold medalist Jonathan Christie 21-15, 23-21 in 48 minutes to claim his historic win.
An incredible week has appropriately culminated for Indian badminton as the country has never topped the most famous team event in the world.
Sean showed incredible mental toughness as he recovered from an opening game knockdown to beat his top-ranked opponent. It was his second victory in as many professional meetings against Gitting.
The game was quick as both players made oblique rebounds in the rally to get into tricky situations.
At the break, Ginting led 11-7 and traffic returned to normal after the Indonesian player easily retired in the opener.
After changing teams, Sen was playing better and leading 7-4 before going into the second half four points clear.
Genting stepped up his offense to close the gap to 11-12, but Sen maintained his strong grip on collecting and scored five points in the game and led the game in the breakout.
Sen continued to attack his opponent in the rally but Ginting took advantage of his precision to make it 5-1. The Indian was in good spirits as he responded slowly, cutting the lead to 6-8.
Ginting was able to lead 11-7 in the second half with Sen entering the net.
Returning to the better side of the pitch, Sen began to dominate the encounter as he propelled Genting up the table twice, allowing India to come back to 12-12 with a shot across the field after a long race.
Sen came away slowly with a series of points to move to 18-14.
A quick pass from Sen and a wide shot from Genting took the Indian to four match points and converted it with another shot into the narrow net, which hit the crossbar and went down.
Sen fell in court in disbelief.
Then it’s the turn of Satwick and Chirag to take control of the stage and show their tenacity against Ehsan and Sokamuljo.
After narrowly losing the first game, India came back strong in the second and won the game for the season after saving three match points.
In the third game, India tried to lift high and take advantage of the ground. It worked as they were leading 11-9 from second to third.
After a close fight, it went 16-16. India shows better nerves and wins important reference videos. Satwick hit a spike and as soon as Sukamolyo scored, it was two match points for India.
Indonesia saved one but there was more drama in store as Satwick was then shown a yellow card for being late to prepare for duty. But Chirag fired a cross to end the competition and roared as India led 2-0.
In the second single, Srikanth played a calculated game, keeping the encounter short and nailing it whenever the shuttle was within his striking range. It worked because his accurate shots from both sides earned him points.
Srikanth took an 8-3 lead but made a few mistakes, taking Christie level 15-15. Even though the Indian was in control, he made it 20-16 and locked it down as Christie headed towards him.
The second game was no different but Srikanth managed to earn three points in the first round. After the break, Kristi turned things around with a six-point 10-13 lead to take a three-point lead.
However, two fouls from Christie and Srikanth tied it level at 18-18.
Another thrilling race ended with a big jump as Srikanth trailed two points from victory. However, Chirstie was the first to reach the game point when the steering wheel went off the grid.
Srikanth manages to save one but Kristi moves to the playpoint again with quick reactions.
Srikanth then took the championship points in one shot and closed it with another high jump smash.
The Indian turned to his teammates, punched his fist in the air and the whole team ran across the pitch jumping for joy.
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