Asian Games: Indian badminton men’s team enter semis securing medal after 37 years
The Indian men’s badminton team makes history by entering the semifinals of the 19th Asian Games and securing a medal after a 37-year gap.
The Indian men’s badminton team made history by securing a place in the semifinals of the 19th Asian Games, ensuring a medal for the first time in 37 years. In contrast, the Indian women’s team faced disappointment as they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
India’s men’s team will face the winner of the match between Indonesia and South Korea in the semifinals, scheduled for Saturday. The last time the men’s team won a medal at this prestigious continental tournament was during the 1986 Seoul edition. At that time, the team was led by iconic players such as Prakash Padukone and Syed Modi, along with Vimal Kumar, Ravi Kunte, Uday Pawar, Sanat Mishra and Leroy D’sa.
In the recent victory against Nepal, world No. 14 Lakshya Sen played a pivotal role by defeating Prince Dahal with a convincing score of 21-5, 21-8, giving India a 1-0 lead. Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth followed with an impressive victory over Sunil Joshi, winning 21-4, 21-13 in the second rubber, extending India’s lead to 2-0. The third match saw Mithun Manjunath defeating Bishnu Katuwal with a score of 21-2, 21-7, securing India’s progression into the semifinals of the Men’s Team event.
However, the Indian women’s team faced a setback in their quarterfinal match against Thailand, losing 0-3. Indian ace PV Sindhu suffered a defeat to Pornpawee Chochuwong in the first match, with a score of 21-14, 15-21, 14-21. In the women’s doubles category, Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly lost to Kittitharakul and Prajongjai, scoring 19-21, 5-21. The third match saw Ashmita Chaliha going down to Busanan Ongbamrungphan with a score of 9-21, 16-21.
Sindhu, who initially took the lead, expressed her thoughts on the match, saying, “I was in control in the first game, and in the second game, it was 4-4, and then suddenly I gave her the lead, and by the time I recovered, it was too late. I made a lot of unforced errors. There were long rallies where I was catching up, but it was not enough.”
The last time India’s women’s team secured a medal at the Asian Games was in the 2014 edition in Incheon, where PV Sindhu and Ashwini Ponnappa were part of the successful team.