Thomas Cup 2022: "Hope this gives further impetus to badminton" - Gopichand after India reaches maiden final
India created history by reaching the final of the Thomas Cup 2022 badminton tournament. Pullela Gopichand was delighted following the same and termed it a turning point for Indian badminton.
It was a historic day on Friday for Indian badminton. India reached the final of the 2022 Thomas Cup for the first time in the prestigious tournament's 73-year history. HS Prannoy came up with a superb performance in the decisive semi-final game, as he trounced Rasmus Gemke of Denmark to seal India's historical fate. Meanwhile, Badminton Association of India's (BAI's) Chief National Coach and Vice President, Pullela Gopichand, was simply ecstatic by the achievement of his boys. At the same time, he feels that this could be the turning point in the history of Indian badminton.
Speaking to Asianet following India's historical achievement, Gopichand stated, "I am thrilled that the boys have reached the Thomas Cup finals for the first time ever. They all showed tremendous character and fighting spirit in each encounter and never gave up. I hope this gives further impetus to badminton in the country. I am obviously very proud of their achievement, as is the entire country."
Being held at the Impact Arena in Nonthaburi, Thailand, the semis on Friday began on a nervy note for India, with Lakshya Sen losing to Viktor Axelsen in straight sets (13-21, 13-21) in a 49-minute contest. In the next game, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty pulled one back for India, winning against Kim Astrup and Mathias Christiansen 21-18, 21-23, 22-20, as the match lasted an hour and 18 minutes.
In the third game, India claimed the lead, as Kidambi Srikanth defeated Anders Antonsen 21-18, 12-21, 21-15 in an engaging contest for an hour and 20 minutes. However, Denmark squared things back with Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Frederik SoGaard defeating Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala in straight sets (14-21, 13-21) of the doubles tie within 39 minutes. Nevertheless, Prannoy held his nerves for an hour and 13 minutes to see past Gemke 13-21, 21-9, 21-12, as India etched its name in the history books.