India men & women teams start on winning note in Asian C'ship
Alor Setar (Malaysia), Feb 6 (PTI) Olympic silver- medallist P V Sindhu led the women's team to a thrilling 3-2 win over Hong Kong while the men's side routed Philippines 5-0 as India made a positive start in the Asia badminton Team Championship here today.
With London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal pulling out of the tournament citing a groin injury, Sindhu proved her mettle as she first claimed the singles match and then combined with N Sikki Reddy to win the second doubles game here.
Sindhu recovered quickly from her heart-breaking loss at the finals of the India Open last Sunday won 21-12 21-18 over Hong Kong's Yip Pui Yin in the first singles.
Ashwini Ponnappa and Prajakta Sawant then played their heart out before losing 22-20 20-22 10-21 to Ng Wing Yung and Yeung Nga Ting in a 52-minute first women's doubles clash.
Young Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli took the court against Cheung Ying Mei but her gallant fight ended with a 19 -21 21-18 20-22 loss in the second singles as India trailed 1 -2 after three of the five-match tie.
Sindhu then combined with Sikki and notched up a 21-15 15-21 21-14 win over Ng Tsz Yau and Yuen Sin Ying to equalise.
It eventually came down to the third singles and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde recovered from a game down to outwit Yeung Sum Yee 16-21 21-16 21-13 to earn India the crucial win.
The Asia Team championship is also a qualifier for the Uber Cup Final with the semifinalists earning the right to play in Bangkok in May.
On Thursday, India will take on a formidable Japan, who boast of world no.2 Akane Yamaguchi and reigning world champion Nozomi Okuhara.
In the men's event, Kidambi Srikanth led the route of Philippines with a 21-11 21-12 win over Ros Leonard Pedrosa before the doubles duo of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy had an easy 21-15 21-13 victory over Carlos Antonie Cayanan and Philip Joper Escueta as India went 2-0 up in no time.
B Sai Praneeth hardly broke a sweat in his 21-6 21-10 win over Arthur Samuel Salvado in the second singles before Arjun M R and Ramchandran Shlok beat the pair of Peter Gabriel Magnaye and Alvin Morada 21-18 21-17 in the second doubles.
Sameer Verma then completed the route with a 21-15 21-12 win over Lanz Ralf Zafra in the third singles.
The Indian men's team play Maldives tomorrow