Asian Games 2023 Badminton Quarterfinals Highlights: India defeat Nepal, medal assured
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India secured a decisive 3-0 victory against Mongolia in the round of 16 of the Asian Games 2023 women’s badminton team event held in Hangzhou, China. Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu, Ashmita Chaliha, and Anupama Upadhyaya delivered dominant performances in their respective singles matches.
PV Sindhu initiated the triumph with a swift 21-2, 21-3 win over Ganbaatar Myagmartseren, granting India a 1-0 lead. Leading her team with authority, Sindhu, ranked 15th globally, eased into the Asian Games quarterfinals by defeating the Mongolian in a brisk 20-minute match.
Myagmartseren, ranked much lower at 775th in the world, struggled to contend with Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medalist and five-time World Championships medalist. Sindhu encountered little resistance, as Myagmartseren frequently erred, sending the shuttle wide and finding the net. There were hardly any extended rallies during the game, and only three shuttles were used throughout.
Sindhu consciously conserved her energy, avoiding her powerful jump smash, as she prepares for a challenging quarterfinal match against Thailand. Her likely opponent is the 12th-ranked Pornpawee Chochuwong, with the eighth-ranked Ratchanok Intanon is sidelined due to an injury, leaving Chochuwong to lead the Thai team. The encounter promises to be a formidable test for Sindhu in the upcoming stage of the competition.
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Ashmita Chaliha, 23, followed with a commanding and identical 21-2, 21-3 win against Kherlen Darkhanbaatar, elevating India to a 2-0 lead.
In the third match of the Asian Games, young talent Anupama Upadhyaya made her debut for the Indian squad. A former world junior number one, she displayed near perfection by winning the opening game 21-0 without conceding a point. Anupama showcased her deceptive and agile playing style, accumulating points effortlessly. Her opponent, Khulangoo Baatar, contributed to Anupama’s dominant performance by committing numerous unforced errors.
This stellar debut by Anupama further solidified India’s commanding 3-0 lead over Mongolia in the team event, highlighting the rising talent within the Indian badminton contingent. With three singles matches in the tie, world no. 17 women’s doubles pair, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, enjoy an extra day’s rest. The Indian women’s team will next face Thailand in the quarterfinals.
On the other hand, Indian men’s badminton team is scheduled to take on Nepal in the quarterfinals clash at the Asian Games. The Thomas Cup champions received a bye in the opening round and moved directly into the quarterfinals. A win here will seal India atleast a bronze medal at the quadrennial extravaganza. World championship bronze medalist HS Prannoy will lead the men’s team alongside Asian champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.