Badminton: H.S. Prannoy seals historic Thomas Cup final berth for India

Prannoy H.S. of India galloped away to victory 21-9, 21-12. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK (AFP) - H.S. Prannoy overcame an injury scare to secure the vital point as India shocked Denmark in Thailand on Saturday (May 14) to reach the final of the Thomas Cup men's badminton tournament for the first time.

Danish world champion Viktor Axelsen had provided some early inspiration in the semi-finals for his team - making quick work of India's Lakshya Sen - sealing victory in 49 minutes, 21-13, 21-13.

"To give some power to my team-mates, that was my goal today," he said.

But unfortunately it was not enough.

In the end, India and Denmark were deadlocked in a 2-2 tie, and 13th-ranked out-of-form Rasmus Gemke was unable to overcome Prannoy, who is 23rd in the world.

Prannoy suffered a nasty slip and injury scare in the first game, which he lost 13-21.

But it was all one-way traffic in the second and third games with Gemke, who was playing in his first tournament all year, not having the match fitness to cope after an injury-plagued 2021.

Prannoy galloped away to victory 21-9, 21-12, as his team-mates danced and cheered.

India will now face defending champions Indonesia in Sunday's final.

World No. 2 Kento Momota of Japan suffered his second defeat of the week, coming off second best to Indonesia's Anthony Ginting, 21-13, 14-21, 21-12, as Indonesia beat Japan 3-2.

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