Indian men’s badminton team etched their name in the history books after lifting their maiden Thomas Cup title in Bangkok on May 15. India dominated against 14-time champions Indonesia and defeated them 3-0 in the summit clash. Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth won their respective singles matches, while the doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty outplayed their opponents to propel India to a historic triumph.
In an exclusive interaction with SportsTiger, flagbearer of Indian badminton and winner of the All England Championship, Pullela Gopichand rated the Indian squad as one of the best to represent the nation and labelled the historic win as the biggest ever in the history of Indian badminton. India’s chief national badminton coach said that the team had the best blend of youngsters and experience under their belt and they proved the same with the results.
“Indian contingent played with the right spirit as players like Kidambhi Srikanth, Prannoy and Chirag took the responsibility and guided India to the historic victory”, Gopichand said.
Gopichand also claimed that the win in Thomas Cup will make a valuable contribution to revolutionising the game in the country, and more investors will show a keen interest in uplifting the game.
“Thomas Cup is regarded as one of the most competitive tournaments globally, and winning that will surely inspire the youngsters to take on sports. We will see more badminton aspirants enrolling themselves in academies and coaching centres hoping to do well on bigger stages,” said Gopichand.
“Teams like Indonesia, Malaysia and Denmark are regarded as major powerhouses. But the perfect combination of experience and young brigade, and players putting their pride at stake worked wonders for us. This time, players wanted to prove themselves, which helped them play well as a team. None of them wanted to come as losers and were very adamant since their practice days. The whole camaraderie, the issue of personal pride and country came together to make a good team,” the chief national coach explained.