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Thomas Cup: India beat Germany

India pulled off a narrow 3-2 victory over Germany to keep their quarter-final hopes alive in the men's team badminton championships.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 16:05 IST

India pulled off a narrow 3-2 victory over Germany to keep their quarter-final hopes alive in the Thomas Cup men's team championships on Saturday.

Chetan Anand, who won one game off world number one Lin Dan in India's 5-0 defeat to China on Friday, lost to Bjoern Joppien 21-17, 21-12 in the opening rubber.

But Anup Sridhar outgunned Conrad Hueckstaedt 22-20, 14-21, 21-6, and Arvind Bhat put India 2-1 up by beating Roman Spitko 21-14, 17-21, 21-16.

Although Thomas Kurian and Jaseel Ismail bowed out to Kristof Hopp and Ingo Kindervater 21-9, 21-16, Kumar Rupesh teamed up with Valiyaveettil Diju to beat Michael Fuchs and Roman Spitko 21-18, 21-12.

"I think the two singles made the big, big difference, because we were expecting all the three singles to win," said India's coach Vimal Kumar.

"But we lost our top singles and I was a little disappointed, but again our number two and three singles pulled off matches and the doubles also.

"Spitko was a little tired because of a long singles match, so that made the difference. Then we came to the final match, he was not really up.

"We have a good chance to get to the quarter-finals, we have to play New Zealand now, so we have a good chance. If we could do that, we can go to Tokyo," added Kumar.

Meanwhile, Sridhar said after his one-hour match: "It was ok, I felt he played a little bit better, but I could see that my opponent was getting tired in the second game, so I just kept the shuttle in the court and I won."

"He made many unforced errors (in the final game) and that made the difference," Sridhar said.

India, with one win against one defeat in the three-team round robin preliminary round, sit above Germany, who meet favourites China on Sunday.

Twelve teams were divided into four groups and the top teams from each group will receive a first-round bye in the knock-out round.

Hosts Japan got off to a strong start beating South Africa 5-0 and will take on European powerhouses Denmark Sunday.

"I tried to be aggressive in the second game and I couldn't control the shuttle well, making some errors," said Shoji Sato, the winner over Christoffel Dednam 21-17, 21-11.

"I have no idea about the match (against Peter Gade of Denmark), I've never played him. If I make the same errors I did today, I will have no chance. But this is our home town. If I can play my game, I think I have a chance," added Sato.

In the women's Uber Cup, Taiwan defeated the United States and New Zealand outplayed South Africa, both 5-0, while heavily favoured China had a rest day.