The Indian badminton women's doubles team of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were ousted from the quarter-finals of the World Badminton Championships in Jakarta on Friday, losing 23-25, 14-21 to the unseeded Japanese team of Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao.
Gutta and Ponnappa, seeded 13th, were looking to repeat their bronze medal-winning performance of the 2011 World Championships, but several errors from the duo resulted in the 46-minute loss against the Japanese pair in 46 minutes at the 9,000-seater Istora Senayan Arena.
The World No 12 Indians did not have a great start as Fukuman and Yonao notched up points due to several net errors from Gutta. The mid-game break and some pep talk from the coaches must have helped the Indian girls as right after that, from 7-11 down, they pocketed the next eight points to go 15-11 up. However, the Japanese team fought back to close the gap at 16-all.
It was a neck-and-neck game thereon as neither pair gave away more than a point to their opponent, but at 20-19 the unseeded pair had the advantage.
Gutta and Ponnappa saved as many as four gamepoints, but the World No 17 Japanese pair won the game on their fifth attempt to take the lead.
The Indian pair looked down and out following their first game loss, which helped Fukuman and Yonao lead from the start and finish the second game in their favour quite easily to enter the semi-finals and assure themselves of at least a bronze medal.
Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu play their respective women's singles quarter-finals later on Friday.
A semi-final appearance assures a shuttler of at least a bronze medal in the tournament.