India, competing in their debut final of the men’s team championship, sealed the title when world number 11 Kidambi Srikanth defeated higher-ranked Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21.
A devastated Indonesia, the tournament’s most successful team having previously won it 14 times, could not keep pace with the fire brought by the Indian team — who joyfully rushed the court following Srikanth’s win.
India were already 2-0 up, with Lakshya Sen beating Anthony Ginting in the first singles match and then Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeating Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sukamuljo in the doubles.
It fell to Christie, an Asian Games gold medallist now in his fourth Thomas Cup campaign, to save Indonesia’s flagging title hopes.
But the eighth-ranked Christie couldn’t do it and seemed overcome with nerves at the onset of his do-or-die match against Srikanth.
The 29-year-old Srikanth took full advantage, bearing down relentlessly on Christie in the second game.
Srikanth praised his teammates for their performance individually and as a team, noting: “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,” he said.
“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.
Srikanth, who told reporters the team’s WhatsApp group was called ‘it’s coming home’, said while the team hadn’t got any firm plans for celebrations that evening, “it’s definitely going to be crazy”.
India rejoice historic triumph
India erupted in celebration after its maiden title triumph in the prestigious Thomas Cup badminton tournament, with people from all walks of life joyfully exhausting their stock of superlatives to adorn Sunday’s heroes.
From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra, the historic feat drew the attention of the country’s political class, sporting fraternity, entertainment industry, and the corporate sector, among others.
They lavished rich praise on the men who made it possible — Lakshay Sheron, Kidambi Srikanth, the doubles duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy — and also the ones who were not required in the team’s 3-0 demolition of 14-time winners Indonesia but played stirring roles en route to the victory in Bangkok.
Here are some of the reactions:
“The Indian badminton team has scripted history! The entire nation is elated by India winning the Thomas Cup! Congratulations to our accomplished team and best wishes to them for their future endeavours. This win will motivate so many upcoming sportspersons — PM Modi.
The Indian badminton team has scripted history! The entire nation is elated by India winning the Thomas Cup! Congra… https://t.co/mQrOo6HiBx— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1652608248000
HISTORY CREATED! Congratulations to the Indian men’s badminton team’s for winning the Thomas Cup! This extraordinary feat, with successive victories over Malaysia, Denmark and Indonesia, calls for matching honour by the nation — Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur
As #TeamIndia defeats 14-time #ThomasCup Champions Indonesia (🇮🇳3-0🇮🇩) to win its 1️⃣st ever #ThomasCup2022,… https://t.co/KGCKtkbHIo
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) 1652609882000
What a historic day! An incredible achievement by an incredible Team India to win the #ThomasCup for the first time ever!! Bounced back from tough situations on numerous occasions to win Gold. Kudos to all the players and coaches. Champions, all of you! — Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra
What a historic day! An incredible achievement by an incredible Team India to win the #ThomasCup for the first time… https://t.co/fvMnBPrg2n
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) 1652608903000
Soaring to a New High. Congratulations Team India on scripting history by winning #ThomasCup, first time in the 73-year-history of this prestigious badminton team tournament. You’ve all made us immensely proud. Keep the flag flying high — Badminton Association of India President Himanta Biswa Sarma
Soaring to a New High 🏸Congratulations Team India on scripting history by winning #ThomasCup, first time in the 7… https://t.co/HdmLsb1rdy
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) 1652608567000
Congratulations TEAM INDIA Men’s Team for winning the THOMAS CUP Title … Great win — Olympic bronze medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal
Congratulations TEAM INDIA Men’s Team for winning the THOMAS CUP Title … Great win 🥇 #ThomasUberCup2022 @srikidambi… https://t.co/TTA92ZDhbJ
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) 1652608062000
Pure show of grit and determination & India becomes the #ThomasCup champion for the 1st time in style, beating 14 times champions Indonesia 3-0 in the finals. It’s coming home! — Badminton Association of India
HISTORY SCRIPTED 🥺❤️Pure show of grit and determination & India becomes the #ThomasCup champion for the 1️⃣st tim… https://t.co/YxB0eR6BhG
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) 1652607905000
History !!!! India wins Thomas cup the first time they reached finals !!! Take a bow boys !!! — Actor Taapsee Pannu
History !!!!India wins Thomas cup the first time they reached finals !!! Take a bow boys !!! #ThomasCup… https://t.co/K27RqYiZ5i
— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) 1652608009000
A historic achievement and a massive moment for Indian badminton. Congratulations Team India on winning the Thomas Cup — India cricketer Virat Kohli
A historic achievement and a massive moment for Indian badminton. Congratulations Team India on winning the Thomas Cup 🇮🇳🏆👏
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) 1652612022000
Congratulations to our Indian Men’s Badminton Team on the historic Thomas Cup win. This day will be etched in the sporting memory of every Indian. With this feat, our boys have captured the imagination of the entire nation — Law Minister and former sports minister Kiren Rijiju
Congratulations to our Indian Men’s Badminton Team on the historic Thomas Cup win 🏆This day will be etched in the… https://t.co/kQ6I2Tr3WN
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) 1652608528000
What a moment for Indian sport – we are Thomas Cup champions for the first ever time, and we beat the best to make it happen. Congrats to the players and staff. Some things take time, but don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done — Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri
What a moment for Indian sport – we are Thomas Cup champions for the first ever time, and we beat the best to make… https://t.co/qcgF05fDup
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) 1652608797000
We’ve had individual champions but winning as a team and a first-ever title in #ThomasCup is surreal. Kudos to each and everyone in the Indian team for making this dream come true. We are proud of you! — Former India cricketer VVS Laxman
We’ve had individual champions but winning as a team and a first-ever title in #ThomasCup is surreal. Kudos to each… https://t.co/ikmaulMNzf
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) 1652610092000
History made. Welcome to India #Thomascup! Phenomenal! Jai Hind — Former India cricketer and MP Gautam Gambhir.
History made. Welcome to India #Thomascup! Phenomenal!Jai Hind 🇮🇳🇮🇳 https://t.co/EO3wW0q8d2
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) 1652608401000
Historic moment for all Indians! 🏸👏🏻What a day for Indian Badminton. Congratulations to the whole team on winni… https://t.co/ETLJhPgUDH
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 1652614555000