The last 2 days were good days to be an Indian sports fan because of the historic victories but more importantly, the dominance. Our men won their first Thomas Cup in their first final, while women assured at least 3 medals at the World Boxing Championships.
With trophies and medals coming in from Badminton, Wrestling, Boxing and Athletics, INDIA is moving forward from being a one sport nation.— Dr Shabbir Baldiwala, MD (@shabbirmb) May 15, 2022
In both cases, they defeated strong opponents. The badminton team defeated Indonesia to win the Thomas Cup, which is a huge deal, given they have the most number of titles (14) to their name.
The unquestionable supremacy of Indonesia is proven by the fact that the competition, which has been played for 73 years, has only had 6 titleholders – including India.
That counts for something.
”No words to describe. Best achievement in Indian badminton history.”— Yonex Badminton (@yonex_badminton) May 17, 2022
– Coach Vimal Kumar
In it’s 73-year history only 5 countries have ever won the Thomas Cup. India is now the sixth country to achieve this remarkable feat.#ThomasCup22 #TeamYonex #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/MTLbKGe4Kv
Yet, when our athletes entered the final, they did so with the belief that the tables can be turned. Maybe, it was this belief that helped them come back from 2 opening-game defeats to win the matches.
20-year-old Lakshya Sen lost his first game 8-21 to come back in the following two, winning them 21-17, 21-16. This gave India a 1-0 lead, which set the tone for the final.
The doubles team of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy took the baton from that point and delivered another success for the nation.
Ultimately, K Srikanth defeated his opponent Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21 to wrap things up. And the rest is history.
When one team has won a title 14 times and the other has never even made it to the final, there is a match the underdog has to play in their head before the actual one.
This, unfailingly, always, is the tougher match – but there are no points for it, no medals, so it’s easier for people to forget about it. Let us not do that.
What we saw in the stadium on May 15 was the implementation of a plan that must have run through the minds of the players a thousand times. It was the realisation of a dream that was not gifted but earned and fought for.
The euphoria of this had not even settled (honestly, it will take some time) and our boxers won 3 important quarterfinals at the World Championships.
Nikhat Zareen, Manisha Moun, and Parveen Hooda – all won their respective fights against opponents from England, Mongolia, and Tajikistan.
Nikhat and Parveen both won their bouts 5-0, while Manisha claimed victory 4-1.
Yay ! Manisha Moun secures her maiden world championship medal in the IBA Women’s World Championship in Turkey ! #Boxing— Vikram Sathaye (@vikramsathaye) May 17, 2022
As they move to their next clashes the nation is behind them. We hope they return with golds, but our pride will remain unaffected by the result.
Though we realise how big these victories are, I have always thought that the true magnitude of such achievements can only be gauged in retrospect because excitement has a way of blocking other emotions.
Cannot wait to write about that weekend in May, in the future.