For a team that had never before won a medal at the Thomas Cup, the Indians showed remarkable composure to win three tight matches and claim gold in its first ever appearance in the final, beating defending champions Indonesia 3-0.
A resurgent Kidambi Srikanth, a former World No 1 came up with a 48-minute, 21-15, 23-21 win over Jonatan Christie, the World No 8, to secure the tie for India - who become only the sixth different team to win the title.
India started the match by fielding World Championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen to play against Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ginting in the opening rubber of the tie.
The World No 9 Lakshya came up with a come-from-behind 8-21, 21-17, 21-16 win over World No 5 Ginting to put India on the scoreboard in the 65 minute match in the best-of-five match format.
A short while later, World No 8 team of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy saved match points against Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo to come out with a gripping 18-21, 23-21, 21-19 win to give India the 2-0 lead in the tie.
And then it Srikanth, the most decorated shuttler in the team stepped up to finish the tie.
“This might sound a little dramatic. But you know, when, when I was in Korea for the Korea Masters, and the following week we had selection trials… immediately after those trials, when the team got announced, we we created a (Whatsapp) group saying, you know, ‘We’ll Bring It Home’, or something like that,” Srikanth was quoted as saying by BWF.
“This happened a week before the tournament started. So yeah… we always thought we are capable, but we only had to be consistent. Coming here, it was a fantastic team and we had great atmosphere. We were a happy team, and we were really supporting each other and backing each other.
“Every win, every achievement has its own uniqueness. India has never won the Thomas Cup before this. Now to be part of a team that has won the Thomas Cup and to contribute to the team’s win gives me a lot of happiness.”
You can watch the highlights of the match and winning moments here:
“There are no words to describe my feeling after India’s title triumph,” said Sanjay Mishra, General Secretery, BAI. “The selectors showed faith in the senior players and their form while the youngsters showed that they can step up and take responsibility. I am confident that this title triumph would only encourage young players to dream big but also be a new chapter for Men’s badminton in the country.”
“We have had many individual triumphs but winning the Thomas Cup crown is very special,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma, President, Badminton Association of India. This shows the depth of talent we have among the men and full credit to the players and coaching staff for giving their ultimate best through this week and beating some of the biggest badminton powerhouses on their way to the title win.”