Thomas Cup Triumph: A collective Present Made up of Particular person Brilliance


For years India would flip up on the Thomas Cup, make up the numbers and watch from afar powerhouses like China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Denmark stroll away with all of the glory.


This time too, no one gave them an opportunity however the self-belief of the gamers translated into unprecedented success, placing Indian badminton alongside the game’s elites.

The nation’s badminton has been synonymous with Prakash Padukone, Pullela Gopichand, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, however this Thomas Cup triumph might redefine the game from the Indian perspective.

A collective present made up of particular person brilliance

Being a staff occasion, it’s a collective present however additionally it is a results of the person brilliance of the singles gamers and the transformation of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty into one of many fiercest doubles groups.

Whether or not it’s Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy or Lakshya Sen, they’ve all proved their mettle on the world badminton circuit. Their rise has been seen.

The Indian gamers have proven their preparedness in taking up the most effective and located the most important stage to fireside in unison.

What has labored for India is the truth that all three singles gamers have been in sensational type within the final six months.

Whereas the singles gamers have been making waves for a while what has made an enormous distinction this time is the outstanding rise of Satwiksairaj and Chirag.

Doubles has been the weakest hyperlink for Indian badminton in staff occasions for years.

In Davis Cup, the presence of the legendary Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi as a staff meant that India at all times fancied profitable the doubles rubber. In badminton, the assuring presence of Satwiksairaj and Chirag implies that the rivals gained’t get a free level.

They had been paired collectively by a sure Malaysian Tan Kim, who was employed by the Badminton Affiliation of India in 2015.

Within the subsequent few years, the duo picked up the ropes from varied coaches equivalent to Indonesia’s Flandy Limpele after which Danish legend Mathias Boe, who did wonderful work with the pair forward of the Tokyo Olympics and was rehired simply two weeks earlier than the Thomas Cup.

Boe was, in reality, one of many causes behind Satwik and Chirag’s stellar efficiency this week at Bangkok, as he has been part of the 2016 Thomas Cup profitable Denmark staff and has been a world primary himself.

Indians now dreaming large, chasing a much bigger prize

The staff has conjured up a present that may go down in sporting folklore as a watershed second for Indian badminton, which might be in contrast solely to the nation’s 1983 World Cup victory in cricket.

Former nationwide coach Pullela Gopichand, who has performed a key position within the rise of Indian badminton, says the staff is now dreaming large and the efficiency “confirmed the character of the staff.”

“Whereas we had been rising up, profitable particular person medals was a dream however it’s past that. It brings again recollections when reaching the highest group was an enormous achievement. Being in prime 16 we had been completely satisfied however this staff has proven a number of energy,” he mentioned.

“The largest factor is perception, individuals will now look as much as Indian staff in another way, to win Thomas cup is large and folks will discuss this victory for ages. It’ll give a number of pleasure to Indian badminton. It’ll give confidence to the Indian badminton fraternity,” he added.

If Sen has emerged as the brand new celebrity together with his scorching efficiency on the World Championships in December and All England Champion in March, Srikanth and Prannoy, after years of battle with accidents, acquired into the groove within the final a part of 2021.

To place it extra succinctly, it was on the World Championships in Huelva, Spain when the trio had proven indicators of returning to type.

Whereas Srikanth and Sen went on to seize a maiden silver and bronze, Prannoy signed off on the quarterfinal, one thing which he had termed an enormous achievement contemplating his struggles with COVID-19 and gastroesophageal reflux illness.

Since Spain, Prannoy went on to weave some good performances within the first half of the 12 months which culminated with a closing end on the Swiss Open, instilling confidence within the selectors to place him instantly within the Thomas Cup squad.

And he did stay as much as the expectations by profitable the deciding fifth singles within the quarterfinals and semifinals.

They are saying “if you need one thing, all of the universe conspires in serving to you to realize it”. Properly, the ten gamers in Bangkok and their coaches certainly believed in it and wished it with all their hearts.

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