Thomas Cup Semifinal, India vs Denmark: Indian Men’s Badminton Team Creates History, Reaches Thomas Cup Final

HS Prannoy produced a lion-hearted effort within the decisive fifth match because the Indian males’s badminton workforce scripted historical past by reaching the title conflict of the Thomas Cup Ultimate for the primary time ever with a 3-2 victory over Denmark in an edge-of-the-seat semifinal in Thailand. The Indian workforce, which by no means went previous the semi-finals after 1979, confirmed large combating spirit because it got here from a match all the way down to outwit the 2016 champions. Whereas world championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth and world quantity 8 doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stored India within the hunt, it was as soon as once more left to Prannoy to take the workforce residence when the tie was locked 2-2. Up in opposition to world quantity 13 Rasmus Gemke, Prannoy suffered an ankle harm after slipping on the entrance court docket whereas going for a return however the Indian continued after taking a medical timeout. He seemed in ache and his on-court motion additionally seemed restricted however regardless of all odds, he produced a sensational efficiency to return up trumps 13-21 21-9 21-12 to etch India’s identify within the historical past books.

“Mentally, there have been loads of issues happening in my head. After the slip, it was hurting greater than regular and I used to be not in a position to lunge correctly and I used to be considering what to do,” Prannoy mentioned after the tie.

“In my thoughts, it was at all times coming that I mustn’t hand over, simply attempt to see the way it goes. Was praying that the ache would not get aggravated and it began to cut back in the direction of the second recreation and by the third, I used to be feeling significantly better.” “The ways which we used within the second and third recreation was very essential. The technique was to maintain the stress on and I knew if I come into the second half with lead, there’s a huge likelihood to get the sport. And I simply informed myself to push these 11 factors potential and the technique labored,” he added.

India will now tackle 14-time champions Indonesia, probably the most profitable workforce within the historical past. Indonesia edged out Japan 3-2 of their semifinal.

It was a creditable efficiency from the Indian workforce, which on Thursday had snapped a 43-year lengthy wait by reaching the semifinals with a 3-2 win over five-time champions Malaysia, a feat final achieved in 1979.

It was at all times going to be an uphill process for India to tame the formidable Denmark, which had develop into the primary European nation in historical past to safe the title in 2016.

Lots rode on world championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen, given his current win over Viktor Axelsen on the German Open Tremendous 300 however he could not replicate his efficiency because the world primary scripted a snug 21-13 21-13 win handy Denmark a 1-0 lead.

Denmark determined to separate their world quantity 9 pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen into two halves with Astrup partnering Mathias Christiansen within the first doubles.

Nonetheless, Rankireddy and Shetty dished out a gritty efficiency, holding their nerves within the last levels to beat Astrup and Christiansen 21-18 21-23 22-20 to carry India again within the contest.

The Indian pair confronted 5 match factors — two within the second recreation and three in third recreation — earlier than changing one to carry pleasure again to the Indian camp.

With the tie locked 1-1, world quantity 11 Srikanth and world quantity 3 Anders Antonsen engaged in a battle of supremacy within the second singles with the previous popping out on high with a gritty 21-18 12-21 21-15 consequence to provide India a 2-1 lead.

India’s second doubles mixture of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala, nevertheless, was no match for Rasmussen and Frederik Sogaard, dropping 14-21 13-21 because the tie was tentatively posed at 2-2 after the fourth match.

The skilled Prannoy then misplaced the opening recreation however, fairly extremely, led 11-1 within the second recreation, regardless of harm. He depended extra on his assault to collect factors at the same time as Gemke didn’t create stress on the Indian.

Prannoy dominated the entrance court docket and shortly roared again into contest with Gemke committing too many errors.


Prannoy, ranked twenty third, stamped his authority together with his trademark smashes as Gemke’s defence lay in tatters. The Indian was up 11-4 up on the interval and continued to dominate the proceedings.

With the Influence Area reverberating with chants of “HSP”, Prannoy grabbed 9 match factors with a straight down the road smash and sealed it on the second alternative as his teammates huddled collectively in celebration.

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