Young Indian girls found Thailand too hot to handle in the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark on Wednesday.
Thailand, one of the title favorites in the Uber Cup, outpowered India 5-0 to top Group B.
After winning 3-2 against Spain and 4-1 versus Scotland, India failed to match formidable Thailand and lost their third league match to finish second in the group. The Indian team is already in the quarter-finals with two early victories.
Despite the hammering, the performances of some of the young Indian shuttlers were inspiring. Aditi Bhatt in particular won hearts with her gutsy display.
Aditi Bhatt stretches world No. 13 Busanan Ongbamrungphan to three games
18-year-old Aditi Bhatt stretched world No. 13 Busanan Ongbamrungphan to three games in the second singles.
The Delhi girl kept her higher-ranked opponent on the court for almost an hour before going down fighting 16-21, 21-18, 15-21 in 59 minutes.
Although other singles players Tasnim Mir and Malvika Bansod lost in straight games, they did not surrender meekly.
20-year-old Malvika Bansod, ranked 104 in the world, fought well against Pornpawee Chochuwong. World No. 10 Chochuwong needed 57 minutes to get the better of southpaw Malvika. The score did not suggest the actual effort put in by Malvika, who gave it her best shot.
It was their second meeting in as many weeks. In the Sudirman Cup, Chochuwong had beaten Malvika Bansod 21-11, 21-14.
Tasnim Mir had a chance to win the first game against Supanida Katethong. 16-year-old Tasnim squandered some easy chances to lose the first game narrowly by 19-21. World No. 33 Supanida capitalized on the situation to complete a 21-19, 21-15 win in 40 minutes.
Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly put up a brave display
Despite India trailing 0-3 in the tie, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela put up a brave display.
Initially, the young Indian pair, ranked a lowly 434 in the world, were leading marginally against the Thai duo.
However, world No. 22 Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai taught a lesson or two to the young Indian combination with a 21-17, 21-16 victory over the 48-minute duration of the match.
Uber Cup Results (Group B)
India lost to Thailand 0-5
Women’s singles 1
Malvika Bansod lost to Pornpawee Chochuwong 15-21, 11-21 (57 minutes)
Women’s doubles 1
Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy lost to Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai 16-21, 12-21 (43 minutes)
Women’s singles 2
Aditi Bhatt lost to Busanan Ongbamrungphan 16-21, 21-18, 15-21 (59 minutes)
Women’s doubles 2
Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela lost to Puttita Supajirakul-Sapsiree Taerattanachai 17-21, 16-21 (48 minutes)
Women’s singles 3
Tasnim Mir lost to Supanida Katethong 19-21, 15-21 (40 minutes).