Jakarta: India’s hopes of winning a medal in badminton team events at the 18th Asian Games went up in smoke here Monday after both the men’s and women’s sides bowed out of the competition following an identical 1-3 loss in the quarterfinals here.
PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy shone bright but India couldn’t get enough support from the rest of the shuttlers as they lost to Japan and Indonesia in the women’s and men’s team events respectively.
The onus was on World No.8 Kidambi Srikanth to give India an early lead in the men’s event but he lost 21-23, 22-20, 10-21 to Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. It soon became 2-0 for Indonesia when Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost 21-19, 19-21, 16-21 to the World No.1 doubles combination of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon.
World No.11 Prannoy then brought some cheers back in the Indian camp by reducing the deficit with a 21-15, 19-21, 21-19 win over Jonathan Christie in the third match.
However, national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost 14-21, 18-21 to the World No.9 combo of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto as the men’s team crashed out of the contest.
Earlier in the day, the women’s team lost in the quarterfinals to top seeds Japan. It was always going to be a close affair between Sindhu and World No.2 Akane Yamaguchi but the Indian prevailed in the tight opening singles encounter 21-18, 21-19.
However, Japan soon restored parity when N Sikki Reddy and Arathi Sunil lost tamely 15-21, 6-21 to Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota. In the crucial second women’s singles, Saina Nehwal made a dramatic comeback from nowhere and saved four match points in the second game to take the match into the decider, but she eventually lost 11-21, 25-23, 16-21 after battling for 71 minutes against Nozomi Okuhara.
Saina, who made a stunning comeback in the second game committed a string of unforced errors in the third and lost five consecutive points from 16-all to hand over the advantage to the Japanese.
In the must-win fourth rubber, Sindhu paired up with Ashwini Ponappa but the duo lost 13-21, 12-21 to reigning Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi, who were solid with their defense.