Badminton Asia Team C'ships: PV Sindhu makes winning return as India beat China - Hindustan Times
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Badminton Asia Team Championships: PV Sindhu makes winning return as India beat China

By, New Delhi
Feb 14, 2024 10:29 PM IST

The victory helped India win 3-2 in Group W of the Badminton Asia Team Championships at the Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam, Malaysia

Twice Olympic medallist PV Sindhu made a winning return to the circuit on Wednesday as she played her first match in four months since retiring in the second round of the French Open in October.

India's PV Sindhu had pulled out of the circuit after sustaining a knee injury in October following a title-less 2023.(PTI)
India's PV Sindhu had pulled out of the circuit after sustaining a knee injury in October following a title-less 2023.(PTI)

The world No.11 beat Han Yue 21-17, 21-15 in 40 minutes to earn her fifth win in as many meetings against the world No.8. The victory helped India beat China 3-2 in Group W of the Badminton Asia Team Championships at the Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

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Sindhu had pulled out of the circuit after sustaining a knee injury in October following a title-less 2023. The former world champion showed that she was not just regaining her form but also her confidence as she won the opening game without losing the lead. The 28-year-old then turned around a 10-13 deficit by winning 11 of the next 13 points to give India a 1-0 lead.

But the team went 1-2 down when Tanisha Crasto/Ashwini Ponnappa and Ashmita Chaliha lost the next two clashes. While Tanisha and Ashwini went down 19-21, 16-21 to doubles world No.4 to Tan Ning and Liu Sheng Shu, Ashmita lost the second singles rubber 13-21, 15-21 to world No.9 Wang Zhi Yi.

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand levelled the scoreline with a 10-21, 21-18, 21-17 victory against Li Yi Jing and Luo Xu Min but 17-year-old Anmol Kharb displayed brilliant maturity to beat Wu Luo Yu 22-20, 14-21, 21-18 in an hour and 18 minutes to hand India the match.

Initially it looked like the pressure was getting to the teenager as she lost the second game and trailed 1-5 at the start of the third. But the reigning national champion stuck to her game plan of keeping the shuttle in play and wrapped up the match with three straight points.

This was the first time India have defeated China in a women’s team event but the latter are not fielding their strongest team with top players like Chen Yufei and He Bing Jiao not participating. Both teams qualified for the quarter-finals that will be played on Friday.

Later, India men defeated Hong Kong 4-1 in Group A to also qualify for the quarter-finals with a tie left. While HS Prannoy lost the opening tie 18-21, 14-21 to veteran Angus Ng Ka Long, the Thomas Cup champions fought back to win the next four matches and clinch the contest.

While Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Lui Chun Wai and Yeung Shing Choi 21-16, 21-11, Lakshya Sen defeated Chan Yin Chak 21-14, 21-9. Later, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila beat Chow Hin Long and Hung Kuei Chun 21-12, 21-7 while Kidambi Srikanth closed the tie with a 21-14, 21-18 win over Jason Gunawan.

India will face China to decide the group winners on Thursday.

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