Both, Indian men’s and women’s badminton teams started their journey towards victory with impeccable performances in the Asian Championship. P.V. Sindhu led the women’s team to a glorious win of 3-2 over Hong Kong while the men’s side won by 5-0 against Philippines. India put up an amazing performance at the tournament. The most intriguing fact is that the Asian Championship will likewise fill in as a qualifying competition for Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, which will be held in Thailand in May this year. Outstandingly, the four semi-finalists will get programmed compartments at the renowned group competitions.
Ashwini Ponappa and Prajakta Sawant had teamed up, who played with all their might before losing 22-20, 20-22, and 10-21 to the Chinese team comprising of Ng Tsz Yau and Yuen Sin Ying. After a devastating groin injury for Saina Nehwal, causing her to withdraw from playing the tournament, Sindhu doubled up with N. Sikki Reddy to win the doubles game by 21-15, 15-21, 21-14. She also won the singles game. This was a very essential win for Sindhu after her four-month long busy schedule and her demoralizing loss at the Indian Open. This was a very challenging scenario for both the players because Reddy had to team up with Sindhu instead of her regular partner Ashwini Ponappa and Sindhu had to double up with Reddy instead of Saina Nehwal. Yet, the results yielded were outstanding all the same.
Ruthvika Shivani Gadde recuperated from an amusement down to outsmart Yeung Sum Yee 16-21, 21-16, 21-13 to procure India an essential win.
The next clash was a men’s doubles where Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok paired together to win the match 21-18, 21-17 against the duo of Peter Gabriel Magnaye and Alvin Morada. In the second singles’ match, Sai Praneeth ensured that the Indians took an unassailable lead after registering an easy 21-6 21-10 win over Arthur Samuel Salvado.
Sameer Verma guaranteed a sense of triumph as he demonstrated India’s predominance by winning the last match of the tie against Lanz Ralf Zafra 21-15 21-12. Kidambi Srikanth drove the course of Philippines with a 21-11, 21-12 prevail upon Ros Leonard Perdosa before the pairs twosome of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy had an easy triumph of 21-15, 21-13 over Carlos Antonie Cayanan and Philip Joper Escueta as India went 2-0 up in a matter of a few moments. Kidambi began the procedures, effectively beating Shaheed Hussein Zayan 21-5, 21-6 in the main singles coordinate, before B. Sai Praneeth took only 17 minutes to show signs of improvement of Ahmed Nibal 21-10, 21-4.
About the match of Srikanth, Sportskeeda posted:
“What a performance by Team India!!
5-0 thumping for two days in a row!
Yesterday they beat Philippines by the exact same scoreline and today they outclassed Maldives.”
India will face an outrageously strong Japan on Thursday. A win will guarantee them a place in the quarter-finals. Sindhu’s group will confront a firm test against Japan as the last have world number two Akane Yamaguchi and reigning title holder Nozomi Okuhara among others in their positions.
This is one of the most thrilling and nail-biting tournaments and India’s performance has been a sufficiently glorious one. While hopes and expectations are at their peak, tension and gravity also burdens the players. Yet, the country is praying and wishing for the best of results for our teams and the players. The highly awaited matches can only tell whether the players will make it or break it!