India storm into semifinals

Badminton Thomas & Uber Cup

India storm into semifinals

Indian women’s badminton team assured itself of at least a bronze medal after notching up a comfortable 3-1 win over Thailand in the quarterfinals of the Uber Cup on Thursday.

The Indian women’s team had created history in the last edition when it clinched a historic bronze in New Delhi after losing to Japan in the semifinals.

On a day when India’s top shuttler Saina Nehwal bit the dust against 2013 world champion Ratchanok Intanon in the first singles, P V Sindhu and the pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa took the responsibility on themselves and won the second singles and first doubles.

It was young shuttler Ruthvika Shivani Gadde who sealed the win for India after she dished out a superb game to outclass Nitchaon Jindapol in the second singles.

India will take on China in the semifinals on Friday.

Olympic bronze-medallist Saina could not breach the defence of World No 2 Ratchanok, who notched up a 21-12, 21-19 win over the Indian to give Thailand a 1-0 lead. It was World No 8 Saina’s fifth defeat to the Thai girl.  Sindhu brought India back in the hunt after registering a 21-18, 21-7 victory over Busanan Ongbumrungphan in the second singles of the day. In the first doubles, Jwala and Ashwini prevailed 21-19, 21-12 over Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in a 39-minute clash to make it 2-1 for India.

Ruthvika was then given the responsibility of taking India home and the 19-year-old showed her prowess with a 21-18, 21-16 win over World No 25 Nitchaon in a 41-minute third singles to seal the victory for India.

"We thought we had less of a chance after Saina losing," said Shivani. "Our first step was to beat the Thai team... so we'll decide what to do (in the semis) now."

Easy win for China

China drubbed Chinese Taipei 3-0 in the other last-eight clash.

Li Xuerui got her team off to positive start, clinching a 21-14, 21-17 win over Pai Yu Po.
China made it 2-0 when Wang Shixian defeated Hsu Ya Ching 21-16, 21-12.

They clinched the deal, following a 21-11, 21-14 victory by Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei over Hsieh Pei Chen and Wu Ti Jung.

Lee stars for Malaysia

In the Thomas Cup, Lee Chong Wei led Malaysia into the semifinals where they will face Denmark.

Lee, the world number two, kick-started Malaysia's effort as he beat Chou Tien-chen 21-18, 21-18.

Afterwards Lee brushed off suggestions that pressure was mounting on Malaysia's men they seek to end their 24-year drought at the world team championships.

"A win for today and then I'll focus on tomorrow," said Lee, who is eyeing a maiden Olympic title in Rio.

Afterwards Lee brushed off suggestions that pressure was mounting on Malaysia's men they seek to end their 24-year drought at the world team championships. Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin thrashed Hsu Jen-hao before doubles team Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong won the decisive match as Malaysia clinched it 3-1.

Indonesia also reached the Thomas Cup semis thanks to strong singles performances from Tommy Sugiarto and Jonatan Christie as they sent Hong Kong packing 3-1.  The Indinesian outfit take on Korea with beat top seeds China 3-1. This was the first time since 1982 that China has fail to be placed among top four.

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