Bangkok, May 13
HS Prannoy produced a lion-hearted effort in the decisive fifth match as the Indian men’s badminton team scripted history by reaching the title clash of the Thomas Cup with a 3-2 victory over Denmark in an edge-of-the-seat semifinal here. India, who had last reached the semifinals in 1979, showed the tremendous fighting spirit to outwit the 2016 champions.
While World Championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth and world No. 8 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty kept India in the hunt, it was once again left to HS Prannoy to take the team home when the tie was locked at 2-2.
Up against world No. 13 Rasmus Gemke, Prannoy suffered an ankle injury after slipping but he continued after taking a medical timeout. He looked in pain and his on-court movement also looked restricted. Despite the odds, he produced a sensational performance to come up trumps 13-21 21-9 21-12 to etch India’s name in the history books.
India will now take on 14-time champions Indonesia, the most successful team in the history. Indonesia edged out Japan 3-2 in their semifinal. — PTI
Viktor Axelsen bt Lakshya Sen 21-13 21-13; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty bt Kim Astrup/Mathias Christiansen 21-18 21-23 22-20; Kidambi Srikanth bt Anders Antonsen 21-18 12-21 21-15; Anders Skaarup Rasmussen/Frederik Sogaard bt Krishna Prasad Garaga/Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala 21-14 21-13; HS Prannoy bt Rasmus Gemke 13-21 21-9 21-12