India men’s dream run in the ongoing Badminton Asia Team Championships came to an end after a 1-3 semi-final loss to Indonesia, here today.
Japan trounced South Korea 3-0 in the other semi-final to set up title date with Indonesia.
The Indian team had a dream start in the semi-finals today with captain Kidambi Srikanth achieving a superb 21-14 23-25 21-9 victory over Tommy Sugiarto in the opening singles encounter.
But the hosts soon suffered a setback with its doubles pair of Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy losing to Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 11-21 10-21 in the first doubles match.
The team’s chances to play in the final of the tournament were dented further with world No 25 Ajay Jayaram going down fighting against a lower-ranked Ginting Anthony losing 15-21 20-22.
In the second doubles match, Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Akshay Dewalkar put up a strong fight but that was not enough to tame their Indonesian rivals Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi.
The Indian pair lost 13-21 21-18 15-21.
With Indonesia having won three matches among the five,
the final match (Singles) between India’s HS Prannoy and Indonesia’s Christie Jonatan was abandoned.
“It was a closely fought match between Ajay and Anthony.
Ginting (Anthony) played very well in the second singles. Also, Akshay (Dewalkar) and Jerry (Pranaav Jerry Chopra) fought hard and lost close matches. We had our chances but I am proud of the way the entire team performed. Particularly, the way the whole week went off. The kind of spirit that was there, was good and it’s very positive for Indian badminton” chief coach Pullela Gopichand told reporters.
The Indian team has won a bronze medal for having played in the semi-finals. Significantly, it is the first ever bronze medal for the Indian men’s team at least in the last three decades.
Meanwhile, Japan beat Thailand 3-0 and China trounced Korea 3-0 in the women’s semi-final encounters. The Indian women’s team lost in the quarter finals yesterday.