Jakarta: Highly-rated Indian shuttlers suffered a disastrous day as their hopes of winning a medal in men’s and women’s badminton team championship at the Asian Games went up in smoke when they lost to Indonesia and Japan respectively, by an identical 1-3 score-line here on Monday.
Despite heroics by HS Prannoy and Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu in their respective singles India crashed out of contention at the GBK Istora Complex.
In the men’s team competition, World No 8 Srikanth lost to local favourite Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-23, 22-20, 10-21, before the doubles pair of Rankireddy Sairaj and Chirag Shetty lost to Marcus Fernaldi and Kevin Sanjaya 21-19, 19-21, 16-21 to trail 0-2.
Though the World No 11 HS Prannoy raised India’s chances by beating Jonatan Christie 21-15, 19-21, 21-19, the duo of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy could not sustain long against Fajar Alfian-Rian Muhammad before losing the doubles match 14-21, 18-21.
The World Championship silver medallist Sindhu gave India a good start as she piped World No 2 Akane Yamaguchi 21-18, 21-8 in the first singles.
However, in the doubles N Sikki Reddy and Sunil Arathi Sara caved in before the pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota 6-21, 15-21 to allow Japan restore parity. World No 10 Saina Nehwal, then tried her in the second singles, tossing the shuttle up but found the world No 8 Nozomi Okuhara a tough nut to crack and lost 11-21, 25-23, 16-21.
Being 2-1 up, it was just a formality for strongest pair of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi to finish the things as they outclassed the experimental duo of PV Sindhu and Ashwini Ponappa 21-13, 21-12 in 39 minutes.