HS Prannoy and men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Shlok Ramchandran put up superb performances but couldn’t stop Singapore from ekeing out a narrow 3-2 win over India in a group B match of the Asia Mixed Team Championships in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
India didn’t have a good start to the five-match tie as mixed doubles pair of MR Arjun and Rutaparna Panda lost 16-21, 13-21 to Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Tan Wei Han in the opening match.
However, 2018 Asian Championships bronze medallist Prannoy brought India back in the contest, securing a 21-8, 12-21, 21-17 win over Thailand Masters champion Kean Yew Loh in the men’s singles.
After Prannoy levelled the tie, Arjun and Shlok put India ahead with a strong 21-16, 21-18 victory over Loh Kean Hean and Chrisnanta.
The onus to wrap up the tie then fall on the young shoulders of Assamese wonderkid Ashmita Chaliha.
The National Championships bronze medallist fought bravely before going down 21-17, 12-21, 16-21 to World No. 32 Yeo Jia Min in a thrilling women’s singles match.
In the final rubber of the tie, Indian women’s doubles pair of Arathi Sara Sunil and Panda put up a gritty show of grit but it was not enough as Putri Sari Dewi Citra and Lim Ming Hui prevailed 22-24, 21-15, 21-16 win in one hour and nine minutes.
With this loss, India are placed at the bottom of Group B, trailing Chinese Taipei and Singapore.
With most of the top Indian stars, including Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, rested ahead of next week’s India Open, the contingent had a tough task at this tournament where they lost in the quarter-finals in the previous edition. India next take on Chinese Taipei in a must-win encounter on Thursday.
Kashyap progresses in France
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap and Mithun Manjunath entered the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the $75,000 Orleans Masters BWF Tour Super 100 tournament in Orleans, France on Wednesday.
Sixth seed Kashyap defeated Italy’s Rosario Maddaloni 21-15 21-17 to set up a clash against Japan’s Koki Watanabe, while Mithun beat fellow Indian Siddharth Pratap Singh 21-18 21-16 in another match.
In women’s singles, Mugdha Agrey overcame a stiff resistance from compatriot Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli before prevailing 21-16 20-22 21-13 to also enter the last 16. She will face Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland, who ended the campaign of India’s Vaidehi Choudhari 21-16 21-19.
Mixed doubles pair of Dhruv Kapila and Kuhoo Garg defeated Germany’s Jan Colin Volker and Eva Janssens 21-18, 21-19 while Indo-Malaysian combination of Tarun Kona and Lim Khim Wah beat Algeria’s Mohamed Abderrahime Belarbi and Adel Hamek 21-16 21-15 to make it to the pre-quarters.
Vrushali Gummadi also bowed out, losing 11-21 12-21 to Israel’s Ksenia Polikarpova, while Kuhoo and Saili Rane fought hard before losing 20-22 14-21 to German’s combination of Annabella Jager and Stine Kuspert in the women’s doubles.