India made sports badminton history after ending Malaysia’s run in the Thomas Cup in Bangkok, the first time they defeated the Malaysian team in the finals of the tournament since 1979. Despite crashing in the first round, with Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia avenging his All England Open defeat against Lakshya Sen, H. S. Prannoy beat Leong Jun Hao 21-13, 21-8 in the third and deciding singles at the Impact Arena.
“This is the one big event that I’ve dreamt of winning a medal in for the last decade,” Prannoy said. “We tried our best in the past too but we could never ever come close. This is a huge moment for me. It’s not just a victory for me but for all the people who believed in me. This is probably one of the biggest days in my career. I don’t think I’ve been this happy in the last few years.” Free online sports betting tips here!
In the opening game, the All England Open final rematch ended with Lakshya Sen crashing against Lee Zii Jia 23-21, 21-9, giving their opponents the lead before the Indian duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated the Malaysian pair of Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin, with a comfortable 21-15 margin in the second game.
The next game saw the former World No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi win the second singles against Ng Tze Yong 21-11, 21-17 to give India a 2-1 lead. However, Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi equalized the scoring by defeating the inexperienced Indian pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala 19-21, 17-21 in 37 minutes. It all came down to Prannoy against Jun Hao in the decider.
Prannoy only needed 39 minutes to end Malaysia’s dream of a sixth title following a straight set victory. “I just don’t know what to say. I failed to contribute to Malaysia,” an emotional Jun Hao told reporters after the match. “Our players can do better,” youth and sports minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu said. All our shuttlers tried their very best. That was all we could hope for. However, luck was not with us.”
This will be the only fourth time that India will reach the semifinals, with the first three occasions came in 1952, 1955 and 1979 without a medal. This time, India is assured of at least a bronze, marking their first-ever medal in the Men’s World Team competition. They will face Denmark, who beat South Korea 3-2, in the semi-finals.
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