Rising star Ashmita Chaliha and the men’s doubles pair of Arun George and Sanyam Shukla registered wins but could not save India from going down to Chinese Taipei 2-3 at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships in Hong Kong on Thursday.
With their second consecutive loss in as many days, India failed to progress from Group B and bowed out of the competition.
On Wednesday, India had suffered a defeat to Singapore by an identical scoreline.
But India began the tie against Chinese Taipei in promising fashion, winning the first two rubbers in tight matches and were leading in the decider of the third match. However, a resilient Taipei team made a strong comeback after that and won all the three rubbers to take the tie and book their quarter-final berth.
George and Shukla showed nerves of steel to hold off the World No. 14 pair of Liao Min Chun and Ching Heng for a 21-17, 17-21, 21-14 win. Assam’s 19-year-old Chaliha then played beyond her age to get a marathon 21-18, 17-21, 21-19 win in exactly an hour against Liang Ting Yu.
With India leading 2-0, World No. 32 Wang Tzu Wei and three-time Indian national champion Sourabh Verma were locked in a gritty contest before the Chinese Taipei ace pulled off a 21-7, 16-21, 23-21 victory. Verma had a 18-13 lead in the third game before Tzu Wei pulled off a superb comeback. Verma did manage to save two match points and even had one himself, but Tzu Wei held on for a crucial win.
It motivated the women’s doubles and mixed doubles teams of the Taipei squad who did not even drop a game to complete the win. While the women’s doubles pair of Chang Ching Hui and Yang Ching Tun beat Arathi Sara Sunil and Rutaparna Panda 21-19, 21-17, the mixed doubles combine of Hsieh Pei Shan and Tseng Min Hao easily dismissed Shikha Gautam and Shlok Ramchandran 21-15, 21-14.
India thus failed to emulate their performance from the last edition in which they had made it to the quarter-finals.