Indian shuttlers in Thomas Cup semis, ensure historic medal
HS Prannoy provided the finishing touch as Indian men assured themselves of their first Thomas Cup medal in 43 years. The last time India reached the semifinals was in 1979. Riding on the victories of Kidambi Srikanth, Prannoy and the doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, India defeated Malaysia 3-2 to storm into the semifinals of Thomas Cup while the women’s team exited Uber Cup after losing 0-3 to Thailand.
Both India and Malaysia were tied at 2-2 before Prannoy played Leong Jun Hao.
‘The Beast’ as he is fondly called by his teammates, delivered a telling blow on Malaysia with a 21-13, 21-8 victory against Leong. Satwik and Chirag revived the Indian campaign after Lakshya Sen lost the first match to Lee Zii Jia 21-23, 9-21. Satwik-Chirag drubbed Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin 21-19, 21-15 to level the rubber for India. Later, Srikanth defeated Ng Tze Yong 21-11, 21-17 to make it 2-1 for India.
However, Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala lost to Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi 19-21, 17-21 before Prannoy sealed the issue.
Earlier, Thailand wrapped up the rubber in 2-1/2 hours. PV Sindhu slipped against Ratchanok Intanon and lost 21-18, 17-21, 12-21. The Indian was never there in the contest in the second game as Intanon took a 11-4 lead and dominated. In the decider, Intanon broke free from 14-12 to wrap up the match. The duo of Shruti Mishra and Simran Singhi lost 16-21, 13-21 to Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai. Pornpawee Chochuwong sealed the issue for Thailand with a 21-16, 21-11 victory against Aakarshi Kashyap.
Thomas Cup: India bt Malaysia 3-2 (Lakshya lost to Lee Zii Jia 21-23, 9-21; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty bt Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin 21-19, 21-15; Kidambi Srikanth bt Ng Tze Yong 21-11, 21-17; Krishna Prasad Garaga/Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala lost to Aaron Chia/ Teo Ee Yi 19-21, 17-21; HS Prannoy bt Leong Jun Hao 21-13, 21-8)
Uber Cup: Thailand bt India 3-0 (Ratchanok Intanon bt PV Sindhu 18-21, 21-17, 21-12; Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai 21-16, 21-13; Pornpawee Chochuwong bt Aakarshi Kashyap 21-16, 21-11)