In a first for the Indian badminton, women shuttlers have qualified for the main event of the Uber Cup on Thursday.
They were vying for the fourth spot in finals against the Netherlands — the fourth placed team from Europe. Based on the overall world ranking points (top three singles players and two doubles pairs) in accordance with the new Badminton World federation (BWF) rankings list, released on Thursday, India ranked higher than the Dutch.
India had kick-start their campaign with a 3-2 win against Hong Kong.
They later lost to Japan 1-4. But later, they went on to win the last two crucial ties against the Philippines and Chinese Taipei 5-0 and 3-2 respectively.
India's ace shuttler and World No. 7, Saina Nehwal, was ecstatic with the win.
"This is the first time we've ever qualified, so the team is extremely excited. We hope to take the form into the finals as well," said Saina.
National coach, Pullela Gopichand, said that although he was happy with the performance, at the same time they would have to work harder as the pressures would be immense.
"There is no doubting the fact that it's an achievement. Now, we we'll have to focus even harder," he said.
Indonesia, India and Korea have completed the cast from Asia in Thomas Cup while Korea, Japan, India and Indonesia have made Uber Cup finals.
The final will be played at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia starting May 9.