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India women flatter to deceive

other Updated: Feb 23, 2010 23:14 IST
HT Correspondent

After getting off to a flying start, India's campaign was dealt a big blow when they lost to Japan 1-4 in the Asian Zone qualifiers of the Uber Cup at Nakornratchasima, Thailand, on Tuesday.

They now need to win both their matches against the Philippines and Chinese Taipei, to be played on February 25 and 26, to stay in the hunt.

National coach, Pullela Gopichand, said they could have won at least three matches, “Trupti's (Murgunde) match was a close affair. Aparna, Shruti and Jwala played very well. We had a chance to win but missed.

“Our focus will now be on matches against Chinese Taipei,” he said.

Saina Nehwal's win was the lone consolation. She claimed the first game against Goto Goi 21-13 and was leading 1-0 in the second when the Japanese retired.

The effort went in vain as the other members squandered the advantage and lost their matches.

Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurian were beaten 18-21, 21-17, 14-21 by Mami Naito and Shizuka Matsuo in the second match, while national champion Trupti Murgunde was drubbed 16-21, 19-21 by Sayaka Sato.

In doubles, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa suffered a straight games loss to Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna 21-13, 13-21, 21-12. Eriko Hirose drubbed Gayatri Vartak 21-12, 21-7 in the fifth match to round off a comfortable win.

In Thomas Cup, India registered a convincing 5-0 win over Cambodia. They will now battle with the hosts in the last group match to determine the winner of Group C on Wednesday.