Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Bigger than 1983 World Cup win, says Pullela Gopichand

Team India ended its wait and clinched the prestigious Thomas Cup title with a win over mighty Indonesia in the final on Sunday (May 15). In the final played in Bangkok, India dominated the proceedings and won three back-to-back games to create history.

Former badminton player and coach, Pullela Gopichand also reacted to India’s historic triumph and said that this win is bigger than 1983 World Cup for badminton.

Speaking to India Today, Gopichand said: “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.”

“I am really really happy, not only for Indian badminton but for Indian sport. If you were to put cricket aside, I think no other sport in this country can talk about this kind of a team,” he added.

A day before the summit clash, Gopichand had said that reaching the final of the Thomas Cup was equivalent to Kapil Dev-led side qualifying for the final of the ICC event.

This is such a significant moment. The Thomas Cup is the biggest tournament in team badminton. Making the finals means you stand eye to eye with the best nations in world badminton. The magnitude of an Indian team reaching the final is what I’d imagine the team that made the cricket World Cup finals back in 1983,” he told Sportstar

Following the win, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has announced a Rs 1 crore cash reward for Team India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate the team and wrote: “The Indian badminton team has scripted history! The entire nation is elated by India winning the Thomas Cup! Congratulations to our accomplished team and best wishes to them for their future endeavours. This win will motivate so many upcoming sportspersons.”

The Indian women’s team didn’t have a memorable outing and crashed out from the league stage of the Uber Cup.

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