The Indian men’s badminton team has won the 2022 Thomas Cup after beating Indonesia by a 3-0 margin. Doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty played an important role in India’s massive victory beating Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19 in the final and gave India a 2-0 lead, ahead of Kidmabi. Srikanth sealed the 3-0 victory.
The duo spoke to Republic Media Network in an exclusive interview and revealed their thoughts after their historic feat of winning the first ever Thomas Cup title for India on Sunday.
Speaking of India’s historic victory, Satwiksairaj said: “I’m still in the zone like I can’t believe it. As if we had won the Thomas Cup. When we first played in China, I was watching the finals and wondering when we will get there. But it’s a team effort, not an individual thing, so everyone should play, everyone should win. It’s a different feeling to win a team event and team events are always something special”.
‘It was always a dream to win the Thomas Cup’: Chirag Shetty
Reflecting on the historic victory, Chirag said: “The feeling, it can’t really be put into words. I think like Satwik said, it was always a dream. We’ve always had good individual performances in badminton, whether it’s winning medals at the Olympics, World Championships, Asian Games or Commonwealth Games. But we never performed really well in the Thomas Cup and the World Team Championships because it takes a collective effort to perform well in these events and I think what we achieved yesterday was something spectacular. I think I would put that on par with the World Cup in any other team sport.”
Meanwhile, the players also revealed their thoughts on receiving a special call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the win. “His phone call came as we came down from our podium. He spoke with all of us and congratulated us. I have never heard the Prime Minister of a country do this for a team. It really motivates you to a whole new level. This is not the first time we have spoken with Prime Minister Modi. We have also spoken to him before. It motivates us a lot. It is very kind of him to speak to us despite his busy schedule,” an elated Chirag explained.
The 2022 Thomas Cup final on Sunday began for India with Lakshya Sen’s victory over Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the men’s doubles match 18-21, 23-21 and 21-19 against Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. Srikanth, meanwhile, cruised to a 21-15, 23-21 win over Jonathan Christie to lead India to glory.