Heartbreak for India as China set up Korea clash in Asian mixed team championship

China overcame India's challenge with a 3-2 win to set up a final clash with South Korea

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

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Gao Fang Jie of China during her match against PV Sindhu of India. — Photo by Shihab
Gao Fang Jie of China during her match against PV Sindhu of India. — Photo by Shihab

Published: Sat 18 Feb 2023, 10:21 PM

For the second straight evening, Indian found themselves in a big hole at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship.

But unlike Friday when they fought back in emphatic fashion from 2-0 down against Hong Kong China, India fell short of the target in the semifinal on Saturday despite staging another spirited fightback.

In the end, defending champions China overcame the Indian challenge with a 3-2 scoreline to set up a final clash with South Korea, which had earlier beaten Thailand 3-1.

With a combination of deft net play and smashes, Lei Lan Xi, who came into this tournament with a modest ranking of 121, gave China a dream start as he outclassed HS Prannoy, the world number nine, 21-13, 21-15, in the men’s singles, the first clash of the five-match tie.

The large number of Indian fans’ hopes at the Expo City-Dubai Exhibition Centre were riding on PV Sindhu as the two-time Olympic medallist stepped onto the court for her women’s singles clash with Fang Jie Gao.

But Gao, the world number 101, showed an indomitable spirit to quell the challenge of Sindhu in her 21-9, 16-21, 21-18 win.

With a commanding 2-0 lead, the Chinese were in the ascendancy.

But once again the Indians were brought back from the dead by their men’s and women’s doubles teams.

Having scripted India’s dramatic come-back win over Hong Kong China in the quarterfinal on Friday, Dhruv Kapila and Chirag Shetty rose to the occasion again, overcoming a 6-12 deficit in the first game to beat Ji Ting He and Hao Dong Zhou 21-19, 21-19 in the men’s doubles.

Inspired by Kapila and Shetty’s win in straight games, Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly then produced another stirring display as they overcame the Chinese pair of Sheng Shu Liu and Ning Tan 21-18, 13-21, 21-19 in a dramatic women’s doubles match to take tie into the decider.

But Dubai-born Tanisha Crasto and Ishan Bhatnagar were overpowered by Zhen Bang Jianga and Ya Xin Wei as the Chinese pair won the mixed doubles match 21-17, 21-13 to clinch the tie and book their place in Sunday’s final against South Korea.

Indian coach Guru Sai Dutt, though, was pleased overall with the performance of the team that earned their first-ever bronze medal in this championship.

“Our doubles teams played really well, both the men’s and women’s doubles teams. They are young players, but they stepped up here. That’s a big positive for us,” Dutt told reporters after the match.

“They will take a lot of confidence from this because China is a very strong team. Overall, I am happy and Indian badminton is on the right path.”

Results

Saturday

Semifinals

China beat India 3-2

Lan Xilei (China) beat HS Prannoy (India) 21-13, 21-15

Fang Jie Gao (China) beat PV Sindhu (India) 21-9, 16-21, 21-18

Dhruv Kapila/Chirag Shetty (India) beat Ji Ting He/Hao Dong Zhou (China) 21-19, 21-19

Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly (India) beat Sheng Shu Liu/Ning Tan (China) 21-18, 13-21, 21-19

Zhen Bang Jiang/Ya Xin Wei (China) beat Ishaan Bhatnagar/Tanisha Crasto 21-17, 21-13

South Korea beat Thailand 3-1

Sitthikom Thammasin (Thailand) beat Geonyeop Cho (South Korea) 25-23, 19-21, 21-12

Ga Yun Kim (South Korea) beat Supanida Katethong (Thailand) 21-15, 21-12

Won Ho Kim/Sung Seong Na (South Korea) beat Pharaynyu Kaosamaang/Worrapol Thingsa-Na (Thailand) 21-13, 21-11

Na Eun Jeong/So Hee Lee (South Korea) beat Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Thailand) 21-9, 21-7

Sunday

Final

2 pm

South Korea vs China


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