India endured a tough day in office with both the men’s and women’s badminton teams suffering defeats in their final group match at the Thomas and Uber Cup Final in Bangkok on Wednesday. While the men’s team put up a spirited fight before going down 1-4 to Chinese Taipei in group C, the women shuttlers couldn’t take a single game off Korea, suffering a demoralising 0-5 defeat in group D. However, the twin defeats will not matter much as both the teams have already sealed their respective quarterfinal berths after ensuring securing a top-two finish in the group following two victories.
In the quarterfinals, the Indian women will have to pull up their socks as they face Thailand.
For the Indian women, it was a reality check after two successive wins against Canada and USA as they looked awfully out of sorts against a much superior opponent in Korea.
Double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu had a disappointing outing as she succumbed to her straight fifth loss to world number four An Seyoung, losing 15-21 14-21 this time in a lopsided contest, as India conceded a 0-1 lead.
The combo of Shruti Mishra and Simran Singhi was no match for world number two pair of Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan, going down 13-21 12-21 in 39 minutes.
Aakarshi Kashyap was sent packing 10-21 10-21 by world number 19 Kim Ga Eun as India surrendered the tie 0-3.
In the next two matches, Kim Hye Jeong and Kong Heeyong beat Tanisha Crasto and Treesa Jolly 21-14 21-11, while Ashmita Chaliha lost 18-21 17-21 to Sim Yujin as Korea completed a 5-0 drubbing of India.
Up against Chinese Taipei, the Indian men’s team fought hard with HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen and the doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila winning a game but only Kidambi Srikanth could claim a victory over his opponent.
World championships bronze medallist Sen produced a gallant fight before losing 19-21 21-13 17-21 to world number four Chou Tien Chen in an hour and 20 minute clash.
The world number 8 pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty couldn’t get past Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin, ranked 3rd, losing 11-21 19-21 as India slipped to 0-2.
World championship silver medallist Srikanth outwitted the tricky Tzu Wei Wang 21-19 21-16 in 53 minutes to keep India afloat.
MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila showed a stomach to fight as they saved four match points, only to go down 17-21 21-19 19-21 against Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han in a tight second doubles match, as India conceded a decisive 1-3 lead to Korea.
In the final match, world number 23 HS Prannoy went down 18-21 21-17 18-21 to world number 119 Lu Chia Hung in a close affair.
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