Thomas Cup: Malayali HS Prannoy beats Leong Jun Hao to book India's first SF in 43 years

Bangkok: India confirmed their first-ever Thomas Cup medal after beating five-time champion Malaysia 3-2 in a thrilling see-saw quarterfinal in Bangkok on Thursday.

In the first match, India's Lakshya Sen took on Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia. The 46-minute match saw Lee Zii Jia coming out victorious over world No. 9 Sen in straight sets 23-21, 21-9.

The next game of the tie saw Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeating the Malaysian pair of Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin. The duo of Satwik and Chirag clinched the first game 21-19. The Indians sealed the second game with a comfortable 21-15 margin.

Former World No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi took on Ng Tze Yong in the third match and prevailed 21-11 in the first game. He continued his domination to win the second game 21-17 and put India ahead 2-1 in the gripping tie.

In the 4th match, the Indian duo of Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan battled it out against Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi. In the hard-fought match, Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi defeated the Indian pair 21-19, 21-17.

HS Prannoy then helped India clinch the semi-final as he trounced Leong Jun Hao 21-13, 21-8 in 39 minutes in a dominating performance.

Prannoy's performance and India's victory ended a 43-year long wait for Indian men's team to make it to the semis of the prestigious tournament. India are now assured of at least a bronze medal.


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