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Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024

Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024 Finals Highlights: India defeat Thailand to win first-ever title

Published at :February 18, 2024 at 12:00 PM
Modified at :February 27, 2024 at 7:33 PM
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(Courtesy : Badminton Association of India)

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India will eye their first-ever gold medal at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024 when they meet Thailand in the summit clash on Sunday. Both India and Thailand are making their first-ever final appearance in the women’s team event. While India beat top seeds Japan to reach the final, Thailand saw off Indonesia to make their maiden final.

India vs Japan Report

The Indian women’s team rode on the prowess of their young guns to upset top seed Japan 3-2 and reach their first-ever final of the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024 at Selangor, Malaysia, on Saturday.

“This is a proud moment for Indian badminton. Youngsters have justified the selection by rising to the occasion and contributing to the success and history by reaching final of Badminton Asia Team Championships for the first time” said Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary, Badminton Association of India.

The team, which had upset the mighty China in the group stage, once again showed that they are not intimidated by any opponent or any situation as the youngsters punched above their weight in the semi-final.

Having reached the last four stage for the first time in the history of the tournament, the women needed a strong start from two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu but things did not go according to plan.

Sindhu began strong against Aya Ohori but a dip in concentration helped the Japanese take the opening game. The Indian star shuttler lost nine straight points at the start of the second game till she herself stitched together a run of nine points to draw level 10-19 to 19-19. She did manage to save a match point but could not sustain the momentum and lost 21-13, 22-20.

The young combination of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand then had an uphill task of upsetting world no. 6 pairing of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida to keep the team in the hunt and they delivered in what was the third meeting between the two pairs.

Treesa and Gayatri began by winning the opening game but the experience of the Japanese found a way to force the decider. They found their footing once again in the decider and opened up a 19-13 lead before they were again put under pressure by their more experienced opponents.

To their credit, the young Indian combination did not lose heart despite the scores being levelled at 19-19 and then converted their second match point to win 21-17, 16-21, 22-20.

Ashmita Chaliha then rose to the occasion and was at her aggressive best to beat former world champion Nozomi Okuhara 21-17, 21-14 to put the Indians ahead.

Sindhu, who was also shouldering the responsibility of playing the second doubles, teamed up with Ashwini Ponnappa but the pair went down 14-21, 11-21 against world no. 11 combination of Rena Miyaura and Ayako Sakuramoto.

This meant that national champion Anmol Kharb needed to once again shoulder the responsibility of seeing her team through and the 17-year-old came out with flying colours.

Playing in her first major senior event, the world no 472 hardly showed any nerves and dominated the proceedings for most part of her 52-minute clash against Natsuki Nidaira, ranked no 29 in the world, to win 21-14, 21-18 and seal the victory.

In the final, India will face Thailand, who defeated Indonesia 3-1 in the other semi-final.

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Semi-final Result

Women: India lost to Japan 1-3 (PV Sindhu lost to Aya Ohori 13-21, 20-22; Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand beat Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida 21-17, 16-21; 22-20; Ashmita Chaliha beat Nozomi Okuhara 21-17, 21-14; Sindhu/Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Rena Miyaura/Ayako Sakuramoto 14-21, 11-21; Anmol Kharb beat Natsuki Nidaira 21-14, 21-18)

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