India's badminton team creates history with Thomas Cup win

Kidambi Srikanth defeats Jonatan Christie to secure men's team championship in Bangkok

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India secured one of the biggest wins in badminton on Sunday after defeating reigning champions Indonesia to lift the Thomas Cup for the first time.

India were competing in their first final of the men's team championship in Bangkok and clinched the title when world No 11 Kidambi Srikanth defeated Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21.

The Indians were 2-0 up in the finals after Lakshya Sen beat Anthony Ginting in the first singles match and then Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty overpowered Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sukamuljo in the doubles.

Sen set the tone for the first-time finalists when he stunned Olympic bronze medallist Ginting in the first singles at the Impact Arena. Rankireddy combined with Shetty for a similar rallying win over Ahsan and Sanjaya Sukamuljo in the first doubles.

Indonesia are the tournament's most successful team, having won it 14 times, which makes India's win even more commendable.

It fell to Christie to save Indonesia's fading title hopes. But the eighth-ranked Christie seemed overcome with nerves against Srikanth.

Srikanth praised his teammates for their performance individually and as a team, saying: "I think everyone really stepped up when it was required.

"A credit goes to the whole team, players, coaches, support team. I love them, they have been fantastic. It's one of the best teams that I have been part of.

"Thomas Cup is something that India has never won and now to be part of a team that won the Thomas Cup and to contribute to the team's win just gives me a lot of happiness," he added.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the praise back home and interacted with the team in Bangkok to congratulate them.

"The Indian badminton team has scripted history! The entire nation is elated by India winning the Thomas Cup!" he tweeted.

The country's sports ministry has announced a cash prize of 10 million rupees ($129,000) for the squad.

Meanwhile, South Korea's women's team ended their 12-year wait for an Uber Cup title with a 3-2 win over defending champions China on Saturday.

Updated: May 16, 2022, 11:00 AM