"I don't think this is an individual's win, it is about all 10 players" - Kidambi Srikanth on India's Thomas Cup gold medal win

Kidambi Srikanth with the Thomas Cup. (PC: Kidambi Srikanth/Twitter)
Kidambi Srikanth with the Thomas Cup. (PC: Kidambi Srikanth/Twitter)
Hari Kishore M

Indian men's badminton team skipper Kidambi Srikanth didn't have to think twice to describe India's stupendous Thomas Cup win on Sunday.

Speaking at a virtual press conference after India beat 14-time champions Indonesia 3-0 to win the Thomas Cup, he said:

"It is definitely one of the biggest wins, best in terms of tournaments and one of my best performances."

Leading from the front as the skipper of the side, Srikanth played six matches in the Thomas Cup and did not lose a single one. He added:

"I would rate this one of my biggest wins and I am happy that everyone played well. I dont think this is an individual's win, it is about all 10 players. Everyone stepped up when it mattered."

The final commenced on a high for India when 20-year-old Lakshya Sen, brimming with confidence, outpowered Anthony Ginting of Indonesia 8-21, 21-17, 21-16 in the first match.

In the second match, the top Indian doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty extended India's lead to 2-0 accounting for Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19.

Kidambi Srikanth put the final nail in Indonesia's coffin, beating Jonatan Christie 21-19, 23-21.

My thoughts on the #ThomasCup2022 victory . Words fail me but I tried . #Jaihind

The versatile Indian player said it was huge to win a tournament of this standard, especially in a team event when the focus is more on individual events.

"Individual events are always different to team events and we hardly get to play team events and Thomas Cup finals are the biggest team events. So to win such a big event is a really big moment. It will actually take a while, before you know what has actually happened," he explained.

Winning for India is motivating: Kidambi Srikanth

Srikanth said winning for the country was a big motivating factor for the team.

"In any major event be it Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Thomas and Uber Cup, world championships, none of them have prize money. But when you win, in this tournament, this is for the country. After we won, people said India won the Thomas Cup and it was not Srikanth or Prannoy, So, this is a special feeling," he said.

The Andhra Pradesh-born player added that he felt privileged to be a part of such a team and play a part in making badminton history in India. He added:

"I don't think every one will have the privilege to experience it, it is us 10 players and coaching staff who have experienced it now and it will motivate others to do well. So the motivating factor was that we won this for the country."

After Lakshya Sen and the Indian doubles pair gave India a 2-0 lead, Kidambi Srikanth was up against Jonathan Christie. Having played nine matches against Christie before the Thomas Cup final, Srikanth had only won four of them.

With five wins over Srikanth under his belt, Christie was touted to have the upper hand but the Indian upset the odds in the encounter.

Kidambi Srikanth was playing Christie after two consecutive defeats against the Indonesian, an Asian Games gold medalist.

Speaking about how he managed to hold himself in the second game of his match, Srikanth admitted that there were nerves as he was dominating the match.

"There were nerves, also because of the fact that I was leading for most of the second game. He played well, so one can't really write off, that too in a final. I just took him on, trying to play consistently, but he played well after the 11 point break in the second game. I am just happy that I could play whatever I thought of playing, I could finish off the match and give that win to the country," he concluded.

WATCH: The moment Kidambi Srikanth smashed Indonesia's hopes to help India win the gold medal

Edited by Diptanil Roy


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