Thomas Cup semi-final, India vs Denmark: Indian men’s badminton team created history, reached the final of Thomas Cup


HS Prannoy produced a lion-hearted effort in the deciding fifth match as the Indian men’s badminton team scripted history by reaching the title match of the Thomas Cup final for the first time with a 3-2 win over Denmark. Seat semi-finals in Thailand. The Indian team, which has never progressed beyond the semi-finals since 1979, showed tremendous fighting spirit as it came down a match to oust the 2016 champions. World Championships silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth and world No. 8 doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty kept India on target, leaving it on Prannoy once again to level the team 2-2 Went. Prannoy suffered an ankle injury after slipping on the front court on his way back against world No. 13 Rasmus Gameke, but the Indian continued to play even after taking a medical timeout. He looked in pain and his on-court movement also seemed restricted, but against all odds, he put up a sensational 13-21 21-9 21-12 to register India’s name in the history books.

Prannoy said after the tie, “Mentally there were a lot of things going through my mind. After the slip it was more painful than usual and I was not able to jump properly and I was wondering what to do. “

“In my mind, it was always coming that I shouldn’t give up, just try and see how it goes. Was praying that the pain doesn’t increase and it starts to subside towards the second game and by the third, I Was feeling a lot better.” “The strategy we used in the second and third games was very important. The strategy was to keep the pressure and I knew that if I come into the second half with a good lead, I have a big chance of getting the game.” And I just told myself it was possible to move on to these 11 points and the strategy worked.”

India will now take on 14-time champions Indonesia, the most successful team in history. Indonesia beat Japan 3-2 in the semi-finals.

It was a credible performance from the Indian team, which broke a 43-year-long wait last achieved in 1979 by reaching the semi-finals with a 3-2 win over five-time champions Malaysia on Thursday.

It was always going to be an uphill task for India to tame the formidable Denmark, which in 2016 became the first European country in history to claim the title.

World Championships bronze medalist Lakshya Sen did a lot given his recent win over Viktor Axelsen in the German Open Super 300, but he could not repeat his performance as the world number one beat Denmark 21-13 21-13. Easy win. 1-0 lead.

Denmark decided to split the world number 9 pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skarup Rasmussen into two halves, with Astrup partnering Mathias Christiansen in the first doubles.

Rankireddy and Shetty, however, put up a stellar performance, holding their nerves in the final leg to beat Astrup and Christiansen 21-18 21-23 22-20 to bring India back into the competition.

The Indian pair faced five match points – two in the second game and three in the third game – before converting one to bring joy back to the Indian camp.

With the tie locked 1-1, world number 11 Srikanth and world number 3 Anders Antonsen are engaged in a battle for supremacy in the second singles, with the former at the top with a 21-18 12-21 21-15 result. With is on top. India lead 2-1.

India’s second doubles combination of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala, however, was no match for Rasmussen and Friedrich Sogard, losing 14-21, 13-21 as the tie was tied at 2-2 after the fourth match. Was.

The veteran Prannoy then lost in the first game but took an unbelievable 11-1 lead in the second game despite the injury. He relied more on his attack to collect points while JemK failed to put pressure on the Indian.

Prannoy dominated the front court and was soon back in the competition with GameK making a lot of mistakes.

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23rd-ranked Prannoy sealed his right with his trademark smash as Gemke’s defense was torn apart. The Indian was up 11-4 at the interval and dominated the proceedings.

With the Impact Arena reverberating with chants of “HSP”, Prannoy secured nine match points with a straight line smash and sealed it on the second occasion as his teammates gathered together in celebration.

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