Hangzhou, October 1
Injured HS Prannoy’s absence hurt India as they went down fighting 2-3 against badminton powerhouse China to sign off with their first-ever silver medal in the men’s team event at the Asian Games here today.
After world No. 7 Prannoy was ruled out due to a back injury, Lakshya Sen produced a gutsy show in the first singles, and the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty then bossed their opponents to put India 2-0 ahead.
So, it was once again left to Kidambi Srikanth to carry the team on his shoulders.
The former world No. 1, who had produced a gritty show against South Korea in the semifinals, couldn’t go the distance this time despite a healthy lead and multiple game points as China fought back to make it 1-2. The defending champions then won the remaining two matches to maintain their hegemony in the Games.
With Prannoy missing, Sen was handed the responsibility of leading the Indian charge. He recovered from a mid-game slump to erase a five-point deficit in the decider and put India ahead with a 22-20 14-21 21-18 win over world No. 6 Shi Yuqi in an 83-minute opening match.
The world No. 3 men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag then went on a smashing spree to outclass world No. 2. Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang 21-15 21-18 in 55 minutes to extend the lead to 2-0.
Srikanth, however, squandered an 18-14 lead and multiple game points in the first game to go down 22-24 9-21 against All England champion Li Shi Feng in the third singles to expose India’s weakest links in the second doubles and third singles matches.
Dhruv Kapila and Sai Pratheek lost 6-21 15-21 to world No. 8 Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi, while Prannoy’s replacement Mithun Manjunath, ranked 53, went down 12-21 4-21 to world No. 20 Weng Hong Yang in the third singles as India finished second-best.
“We missed Prannoy in some sense,” India coach Pullela Gopichand said. “His playing the first singles would have actually helped. Then we would have had two solid men’s singles and one men’s doubles who have been our best. But unfortunately Prannoy not being there definitely was a dent,” he added.
India now has 11 badminton medals in the Asiad, including three individual singles medals, one silver and three bronze in the men’s team, two women’s team bronze and one medal each in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles events. — Agencies
LIVE ON SONY SPORTS
INDIANS IN ACTION
Compound: Mixed team 1/8 elimination: India vs UAE; Men’s team 1/8 elimination: India vs Singapore; Individual 1/16 elimination: Abhishek Verma, Ojas Pravin Deotale, Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Aditi Gopichand Swami; Recurve: Mixed team 1/8 elimination: India vs Malaysia; Individual 1/32 elimination: Bhajan Kaur; Individual 1/16 elimination: Ankita Bhakat, Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara
Men’s decathlon: Tejaswin Shankar; Men’s high jump qualification: Sandesh Jesse, Sarvesh Kushare; Men’s 800m heats: Mohammed Afsal Pulikkakath, Krishan Kumar; Men’s 400m hurdles heats: Santhosh Kumar Tamilarasan, Yashas Palaksha; Women’s 400m hurdles heats: Sinchal Kaveramma, Vithya Ramraj; Women’s pole vault final: Pavithra Venkatesh; Women’s long jump final: Shaili Singh, Ancy Sojan; Women’s 3000m steeplechase final: Priti Lamba, Parul Chaudhary; Mixed 4X400m relay final
Men’s singles Rd of 64; Men’s doubles Rd of 32; Mixed doubles Rd of 32
Round 4 of team events
Eventing jumping team and individual finals
Men’s Pool A:
India vs Bangladesh 1:15pm
Women’s Group A: India vs Chinese Taipei 1:30pm
Mixed doubles Pool D; Men’s singles Rd of 16; Women’s singles Rd of 16
Women’s doubles semifinals: Sutirtha Mukherjee & Ayhika Mukherjee 10:15am
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Rescue workers break through the 60-metre stretch of rubble ...
Education dept issues the dismissal orders following approva...
To hold a meeting in Hisar to decide their next course of ac...
Set to meet Governor Banwarilal Purohit
Sikhs of America says gurdwaras are places of worship and sh...