Ashmita Chaliha becomes first Indian to reach semifinals of Thailand Masters
(Courtesy : BAI)
She is the only Indian left in fray in Bangkok
Ashmita Chaliha, India’s rising badminton star, reached the semi-finals of the Thailand Masters 2024 after defeating Indonesia’s Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo in a thrilling three-game encounter on Friday. Chaliha, who is ranked 61th in the world, overcame the 44th-ranked Tri Wardoyo 21-14, 18-21, 21-13 in 57 minutes at the Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok.
The 24-year-old from Guwahati started strongly, taking the first game with ease. However, the Indonesian fought back in the second game, forcing Chaliha to make errors and leveling the match. In the decider, Chaliha regained her composure and raced to an 11-4 lead. She maintained her dominance till the end, sealing the match and a spot in the last four.
This is Chaliha’s first semi-final appearance on the BWF World Tour, where she will face either seventh seed Wen Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei or fourth seed Supanida Katethong of Thailand on Saturday. Chaliha, who won the gold medal in the women’s singles and team events at the 2019 South Asian Games, is the only Indian left in the tournament.
Earlier on Friday, India’s hopes in the men’s singles and women’s doubles were dashed as Mithun Manjunath and the pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand lost their respective quarter-final matches. Manjunath, who had upset former world number 1 Kidambi Srikanth in the second round, went down to Dutch Mark Caljouw 19-21, 15-21 in 43 minutes.
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Jolly and Gopichand, who had beaten the experienced duo of Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa in the second round, lost a close match to fourth seeds Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma and Amallia Cahaya Pratiwi of Indonesia 12-21, 21-17, 21-23 in 67 minutes.
On Thursday, Srikanth, Sankar Subramanian, Malvika Bansod and the pair of Crasto and Ponnappa were among the Indian shuttlers who made an early exit from the BWF Super 300 tournament. Subramanian lost to Lin Chun-yi of Chinese Taipei 9-21, 11-21. Crasto and Ponnappa lost to Jolly and Gopichand 15-21, 22-24.
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