BY: Michelle Liew
India made history at the 2022 Thomas Cup badminton tournament when they clinched their first championship trophy with a sensational 3-0 victory over 14-time champions Indonesia on Sunday.
The Indian squad managed to pull off an upset when they eliminated five-time champions Malaysia in the quarterfinals and 2016 champions Denmark in the semi-finals, before topping it off with a staggering victory over defending champions Indonesia.
Senior player Srikanth Kidambi emerged as his team’s hero by confirming its victory points after defeating Jonathan Christie 21-15, 23-21 in the second singles tournament.
Earlier, Lakshya Sen ensured India kickstarted India’s points by bouncing back from a rubber match to surprise world number five player Anthony Sinisuka Ginting with a score of 8-21, 21-17, 21-16.
Doubles duo and world number eight pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty was also dragged in a fierce battle, losing in the opening set before defeating top two players Mohammad Ahsan-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19 to give India a 2-0 lead.
Srikanth managed to play in straight sets against world number eight Jonathan Christie. However, he was given great resistance by Jonathan before claiming the overall victory after a 48-minute battle. Decibels in the crowd went higher and the team rejoiced in the centre of the court to celebrate its unforgettable triumph.
Srikanth believes that India’s victory is proof that other teams are also able to break the wall of tradition to sit in line with major teams such as Indonesia (14 titles), followed by China (10), Malaysia (five), Denmark (one) and Japan (one).
“I am very happy to see my teammates beat Indonesia and win our first championship today,” he said.
“No one expected India to win the Thomas Cup this time but that is the sport, maybe from this result, I hope badminton can be loved by more people in this world.