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Asian Games: Indian men's badminton team reaches semis, confirms historic medal

The Indian men's badminton team defeated Nepal 3-0 to secure a spot in the semifinal of the Hangzhou Asian Games. In doing so, the team has confirmed India's first medal in the men's team event since the 1986 Asiad.

Asian Games: Indian mens badminton team reaches semis, confirms historic medal

The Indian men's badminton team at Asian Games.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 29 Sep 2023 6:42 PM GMT

The Indian men's badminton team warmed up with a comfortable 3-0 win over Nepal in the quarterfinal tie of the Asian Games at BJ Gymnasium in Hangzhou on Friday.

With this win, India advanced to the semifinals and confirmed a medal at the Asiad for the first time since 1986. India will face South Korea in the last four on Saturday at 2:30 PM Indian Standard Time. Korea defeated Indonesia 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

India got a bye in the first round. The Indian men's team last won a medal at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea.

Opening the play for India, Lakshya Sen took a 4-1 and then 9-1 lead against Prince Dahal. He would soon cruise to a 20-5 lead to reach a game-point chance. Lakshya sealed the game in the first chance itself to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second game, Lakshya won nine straight points to take an 11-3 lead at the interval. He would soon extend his lead to 15-3. Prince managed to win three more points but it was never a battle of equals as Lakshya won the second game 21-8 and wrapped up the contest in 22 minutes.

Kidambir Srikanth, playing India's second match, faced no hardships against unheralded Sunil Joshi in the first game and clinched it 21-4. However, in the second game, Joshi fought back and forced Srikanth to toil hard for points at the onset of the game.

Before the interval, Joshi even trails 8-11. But post-interval, Srikanth was in no mood to stretch the proceeding and won the game 21-13 and the match in 31 minutes.

In the third match, it was one-way traffic with Mithun Manjunath winning 21-2, 21-7 in 25 minutes.

With the tie featuring three singles matches first and India winning all of them, the men's doubles duo of M R Arjun and Dhruv Kapila and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty saw the action from the bench.

Though Indian shuttlers won this contest easily, their real test will come in the semifinals against South Korea.

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