Indians come crashing down

Badminton Asia Team Championships : Hosts squander early advantage against determined Indonesia

Indians come crashing down

India men’s dream run in the ongoing Badminton Asia Team Championships came to an end after a 1-3 semifinal loss to Indonesia, here on Saturday.

Japan trounced South Korea 3-0 in the other semifinal to set up title date with Indonesia.
The Indian men’s team had a dream start in their last four tie with captain Kidambi Srikanth achieving a superb 21-14, 23-25, 21-9 victory over Tommy Sugiarto in the opening singles encounter here at the Gachibowli Stadium.

But the hosts soon suffered a setback with its doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy losing to Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 11-21, 10-21 in the first doubles match.

The team’s chances to play in the final of the tournament were dented further as world No 25 Ajay Jayaram looked out-of-sorts as he went down to a lower-ranked Ginting Anthony losing 15-21, 20-22.

Jayaram never looked in control as the Indian bowed down to Anthony’s darting shames and smart court play.

In the second doubles match, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar put up a strong fight but that was not enough to tame their Indonesian counterparts Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi.

The Indian pair lost 13-21, 21-18, 15-21.
With Indonesia having won three matches among the five, the final match, a singles tie between India’s HS Prannoy and Indonesia’s Christie Jonatan, was abandoned.

“It was a closely fought match between Ajay and Anthony. Ginting (Anthony) played very well in the second singles. Also, Akshay (Dewalkar) and Jerry (Pranaav Jerry Chopra) fought hard and lost close matches. We had our chances but I am proud of the way the entire team performed. Particularly, the way the whole week went off. The kind of spirit that was there, was good and it’s very positive for Indian badminton” chief coach Pullela Gopichand said after his side had squandered the early advantage.

Having assured themselves of a bronze medal for having played in the semifinals was the only bright spot for a depleted side as this significantly, is theie first-ever bronze medal in the last three decades.

Meanwhile in the women’s section, Japan beat Thailand 3-0 and will take on powerhouse China in the final on Sunday. The Chinese got the better of Korea 3-0.

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