New Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): Praising the Indian men's badminton team for defeating 14-time champions Indonesia on Sunday, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur announced Rs 1 crore cash award for the team for winning the first-ever Thomas Cup trophy.
Indian badminton team created history on Sunday as they lifted the Thomas Cup trophy for the very first time. No Indian team has previously reached the final of the Thomas and Uber Cup in its 70-plus year history.
In what was India's first-ever appearance in the tournament finale, they defeated the record 14-time champions Indonesia in the Thomas Cup 2022 final at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand by 3-0 to lift the coveted trophy.
Indian men reached the Thomas Cup semi-finals in 1952, 1955 and 1979 while the women's team made it to the Uber Cup top-four in 2014 and 2016.
"On the behalf of the Ministry of Sports, I declare a cash prize of one crore rupees for Team India. And I have full faith that our players will win more such medals," The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur told ANI.
"For the first time in 73 years, the Indian badminton team created history in Thomas Cup. I give my best wishes to all the players. In this tournament, We defeated the 14-time champions Indonesia and five-time champions Malaysia and Denmark. This is not a small but a big achievement. It is the continuous efforts of PM Modi and his plans to provide great training, and facilities to the players from time to time. Our players worked hard to win the championship," he added.
India finished second in Group C behind Chinese Taipei to qualify for the knockout stage, where they came up on top against strong Malaysian and Danish teams in the quarter-finals and semifinals, respectively.
Starting the tie, Lakshya Sen clinched the first point for India after defeating Anthony Ginting 8-21, 21-17, 21-16.
Ginting looked fast, accurate and extremely dangerous in the opening stage, enjoying a twelve-point run, to claim the opening game 21-8 in just 17 minutes. But Lakshya Sen responded brilliantly in the second game to take the match to the decider, by winning it 21-17. Sen completed the comeback by winning the match 8-21, 21-17, 21-16.
In the second match of the tie, the Indonesian scratch pairing of Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo got off to the right start after winning their opening match 21-18.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty then survived four match points to come back and snatch the win in the second game, 23-21. Indians won the deciding game to clinch the match 18-21, 23-21, 21-19.
In the third match of the tie, India's Kidambi Srikanth took the opening game against Indonesia's Jonatan Christie 21-15 and clinched the match and final by winning the second game 23-21.
The Indian team, featuring Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and others, have given a good account of themselves at this year's tournament. (ANI)