Speaking to India Today, legendary Pullela Gopichand said India winning their first-ever Thomas Cup crown is a milestone moment for badminton in the country. India brought down 14-time champions Indonesia in Sunday’s final in Bangkok.
India defeated Indonesia to win the Thomas Cup title on Sunday (AP Photo)
- India ended a 73-year wait for a Thomas Cup crown on Sunday
- India defeated 14-time champions Indonesia in the final
- Gopichand heaped praise on the young Indian team for scripting history
India’s chief badminton coach and former All England champion, Pullela Gopichand highlighted the enormity of India’s Thomas Cup victory, saying it is even bigger than the 1983 Cricket World Cup triumph for Indian badminton.
India ended a 73-year-long wait to bring home the biggest team championship crown as a young team defeated 14-time champions Indonesia in the final at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on Sunday, May 15. Not many gave India a chance to win the team tournament that had previously been won by only 5 nations. However, the team, spearheaded by Kidambi Srikanth, rallied against the odds and beat the 5-time champions Malaysia, former champions Denmark in the quarter-final and semi-final before outclassing the most successful team in the history of the tournament in the final.
“I would say that in badminton terms this is even bigger (than the 1983 World Cup win). I think nobody would have imagined that we would win something as big as this,” Pullela Gopichand told India Today.
The Kapil Devils did the improbable in the 1983 Cricket World Cup, beating the odds to win the trophy. Kapil Dev’s side brought the mighty West Indies down in the final to inspire a generation of youngsters take up cricket. One of the greatest to have ever played the sport, Sachin Tendulkar, has often stressed he was inspired to pick up a bat after watching India beat the West Indies in the iconic Lord’s final.
Gopichand believes the Thomas Cup win, India’s first title in the 73-year history of the tournament, will bring abuot a similar impact in badminton, which is already a popular sport after the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu scripted Olympic glory for India.