Shah Alam (Malaysia): India’s campaign at the Badminton Asia Team Championships came to end as the men’s and women’s teams failed to advance to the knockout round after going down to their respective opponents here on Friday.
While the men’s team lost 2-3 to three-time defending champions Indonesia, the women’s side were hammered 1-4 by Japan.
The Indian men’s team had earlier lost 0-5 to Korea and beaten Honk Kong 3-2. It needed an outright win against title holders Indonesia to advance to the knockout stage.
The Indians finished third in the group stage behind Indonesia and Korea. Hong Kong finished last.
The women’s team also needed a win to qualify for the knockouts but found Japan to be a formidable opponent. The Indians had earlier lost to hosts Malaysia 2-3.
India Open winner Lakshya Sen and Mithun Manjunath gave a good account of themselves. Sen, a world championship bronze medallist, eked out a hard-fought win over Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo 21-18 27-25 in 46 minutes to start the proceedings on a bright note for India.
However, the two inexperienced doubles pairs and singles player Kiran George couldn’t rise to the occasion.
The pair of Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Dingku Singh Konthoujam went down in straight games 16-21 10-21 to Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin in less than 30 minutes as Indonesia levelled the tie.
The defending champions then took a 2-1 lead as world number 75 Kiran, who had won his maiden Super 100 crown in Odisha, lost 13-21 21-17 10-21 to Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay.
With momentum on their side, the Indonesians then sealed the tie as the Indian duo of Hariharan Amsakarunan and Ruban Rethinasabapathi Kumar lost to Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana 10-21 10-21.
Manjunath Mithun then toiled hard to notch a consolation win, beating Yonathan Ramlie 21-12 15-21 21-17 in one hour three minutes.
While the men’s team went out fighting, Japan proved too much for the young women’s side.
Japan took a 1-0 lead as India’s Aakarshi Kashyap lost the first singles match to Natsuki Nidaira 13-21 21-18 15-21.
Assam’s Ashmita Chaliha, the lone winner for India in the tie, then dished out a superb show to see off Riko Gunji 21-17 10-21 21-19 in 53 minutes to bring India back into the contest.
However, neither the two doubles pairs nor young Tara Shah could latch on to the momentum and lost their matches in straight games.
The Indian duo of Khushi Gupta and Simran Singhi went down 15-21 16-21 to Rui Hirokami and Yuna Kato while Tara succumbed to a 12-21 16-21 loss at the hands of Hina Akechi.
Arul Bala Radhakrishnan and Nila Valluvan also proved no match for the Japanese duo of Riko Gunji and Natsuki Nidaira, losing 10-21 15-21.
The women’s team ends the group stage last, having lost to both Japan and Malaysia.