Kochi: Indian pair of Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar picked up a lucky victory over their compatriots V Diju and J.B.S Vidyadhar in the +35 men’s doubles competition to finish on top of the podium at the Manorama BWF World Senior Badminton Championships 2017 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.
It was a historical day for Indian badminton as for the first time ever fans got to witness an All India final in the Senior World Championships. The match lived up to its billing and the crowd poured in numbers to watch the match. With the scoreboard reading 21-12, 17-21, the match went into the decider much to the delight of the fans who were cheering each point. With the gold medal at stake, both the teams rolled out their A-game in the final game.
The match was poised for an exciting finish and with the scoreboard reading 9-7 in Diju and Vidyadhar’s favour, the former injured his knee. He received on court treatment but could not continue bringing an abrupt halt to the match. It could have been anybody’s match but the lady luck seemed to shine a bit more on Rupesh/Sanave at the end of the day.
“It was a great match and it was unfortunate that it had to end like this. I mean we all knew that they were the favorites to win it but the way we played and gave them a good fight. We were leading in the third game and were on course but unfortunately I got injured,” Diju said after the match.
“Obviously this will take some time to sink in but full credit to Sanave and Rupesh for the way they played. They definitely deserved it and end of the day the medal stays in India, so it is fine,” the former Olympian said.
This was their maiden medal for the both the pairs in the Senior World Championships.
“It was sad to see the match finish like this. It is good that we won but at the same time feeling bad for them. It is a mixed feeling and I actually wanted him to continue,” Rupesh said after the match.
“It was great match till it lasted and it was very good to see the way the fans were behind both the teams. It acts a great source of motivation when the crowd is behind you and we would really like to thank all of them from the bottom of our hearts,” Rupesh added.
Srikant Bakshi and Navdeep Singh of India had to content with the silver medal in the +45 men’s doubles category after going down to second seeded Thailand pair of Chatchai Boonmee and Wittaya Panomchai 18-21, 21-18, 15-21.
K.A Aneesh also ended his campaign with a silver medal in the +40 men’s single event after losing to Hosemari Fujimoto 21-4, 21-9 in the finals. In the+55 men’s singles competition Basant Kumar Soni went down to Pornroj Banditpisut 21-10, 21-6 to return with a silver medal.