India made history by winning the Thomas Cup for the first time on Sunday by beating defending champions Indonesia 3-0 in the final. India competed in the opening final of the men’s team tournament, securing the title when Kidambi Srikanth defeated higher-ranked Jonatan Christie. India’s victory in the first three matches meant HS Prannoy had no chance to play. But the shuttler played a vital role in India, even reaching the final, standing out when the team needed it the most. In an exclusive interview with NDTV after the historic victory, Prannoy said he created a WhatsApp group called “It’s coming home” and revealed that it played a big role in India’s victory.
“I created that WhatsApp group. It’s called ‘it’s coming home’ and it’s actually going home. This group is very necessary and important. Want a group where all the players are in there because there are a lot of things you can’t do Arrived and shared with everyone. The players were able to discuss things very freely. It was really helpful. There were problems and setbacks between us. We lost to Chinese Taipei in the group stage.
“It was very important to regroup after that loss. The (WhatsApp) group helped every player tremendously. We could express what was needed,” Prannoy told NDTV.
Prannoy proved his difference in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. In both matches, India drew 2-2, meaning Prannoy had to win for India to progress. And the Indian Shuttle did just that.
In the quarter-finals, he defeated Malaysia’s Leong Jun Ho 21-13, 21-8 to secure India’s first medal of the tournament. Then in the semi-finals, Prannoy again faced higher-ranked Denmark’s Rasmus Germke, the Indian shuttler who broke through a painful barrier despite losing the first match and getting injured 13-21, 21-9, 21-12 wins to secure India’s place in the final.
“I would say, it’s scary. The situation is scary, especially in the quarter-finals. We all know we’ve never won a medal in the Thomas Cup and we have to win the quarter-final match. Yes. Too much pressure for me because for me it was a bad start, but luckily I can work from my side. I’m really proud of the two games I played at such a high level. In the semi-finals, I got hurt and I slipped and hurt my ankle in the first half. But the way these guys are supporting in the stands, I just want to get this win for them and the country,” the star shuttler said.
In Sunday’s final, India was already 2-0 up, with Lakshya Sen beating Anthony Ginting in the first singles match before Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sukamuljo in doubles.
Former world No. 1 Sri Kanth took the gold for India, and he did so for India to win 3-0.
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