Indian shuttlers displayed one of their most degraded performances in the Asia Badminton Championships, where all the three shuttlers in contest PV Sindhu, Sania Nehwal and Sameer Verma all lost their respective quarter-final matches and shattered the dream of winning medals for their country.
Sameer had a very tough matchup in the quarters as he was up against the world No.2 Shi Yuqi. Sameer produced a lack lustre performance against his Chinese opponent who hardly broke a sweat in the match. Sameer was shown the door as he lost his match in a disastrous fashion 21-10 and 21-12 in just 36 minutes.
Nehwal, the London Olympics bronze medallist lost a hard-fought quarter-final match against Japan’s third seed Akane Yamaguchi. The two had previously also played in the Hong Kong Open last year where the Indian lost after a three round matchup and this time too, the story was pretty much the same.
In the first game, the Indian was equally matched in the first 10 points before her opponent scored 8 straight points and eventually Nehwal lost the round to her opponent 13-21.
In the second game the Indian gained an early upper hand of 18-14 and despite a fought back by Yamaguchi, the Indian managed to outplay her opponent and grabbed vital points and the seventh seed Nehwal won the round 23-21 to push the contest to a decider.
In the second game, Nehwal was dominating her rival and had a 6-1 lead but the Japanese with a burst in the points moved up ahead to a 17-14 lead and with three successive points won the match 21-16 and Nehwal was out of the tournament despite battling out for one hour and one minute. Yamaguchi won the match 13-21, 23-21, 16-21.
Sindhu, the fourth seed was last Indian left in the contention of a medal in the championships but all hopes were shattered after a disappointing loss for the shuttler.
The much-experienced Sindhu was ousted in the tournament by an unseeded local girl Cai Yanyan. The Chinese girl played with a brave heart at her home ground and edged past her opponent 19-21 in the first round of the quarter-finals.
In the second game, Sindhu’s performance was a far poor one. She was looking like a pale shadow of herself. Sindhu was completely outplayed by a much lower ranked opponent and the Chinese girl ran away with the second round after initial seven points by Sindhu and won the round 9-21.
Sindhu went crashing out of the tournament in just 31 minutes in the quarter-final match and lost the game 19-21 and 9-21 to Cai Yanyan. It was a maiden loss for Sindhu against Yanyan.
Nehwal and HS Prannoy won bronze medals in the last year held edition of the championship but this year, the medal tally of India in the tournament remained blank. Nehwal previously won three bronze medals in the 2010, 2016 and 2018 editions, while Sindhu won a bronze in 2014 and Prannoy won the bronze medal last year.
None of the modern era badminton players have been able to reach the finals of this tournament despite having two world No.1 shuttlers and two Olympic medallists. It was way back in 1965 that Indian shuttler Dinesh Khanna won the gold in the men’s category and became the champion in the tournament.
India has not won a gold medal in the Asian Boxing Championships in the past 54 years and after this year’s devastating loss the wait is going to be much longer.
(Featured Image: FB/Badminton Association of India)
About the Author
My motto in life is, hard work is key to success. I am an aspiring journalist who is passionate about cricket and WWE. I like reading and scrolling Netflix in my free time.