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Badminton

Asia Mixed Team C'ships: India wins thriller; confirms first-ever medal

India came back from 0-2 down to defeat Hong Kong and confirm its first-ever medal in the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships.

Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly are into the All England Open semi-finals
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Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly won their RO32 match against a lower ranked Taiwanese duo. (File photo)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 18 Feb 2023 5:14 AM GMT

While there are strict laws for robbery in the United Arab Emirates, the Indian badminton team will be rewarded instead for the same.

India came back from 0-2 down to win 3-2 against Hong Kong in an absolute thriller and confirmed their first-ever medal in the history of Badminton Asia Mixed team championships.

With just one game away from getting knocked out, India pulled out an incredible comeback to down Hong Kong with Dhruv Kapila/Chirag Shetty, PV Sindhu, and Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand winning their respective games.

Hong Kong started the tie with a win in the mixed doubles as Lee C.H.R/NG T.Y. defeated Tanisha Crasto/Ishan Bhatnagar by 26-22. 21-17 and took the lead1-0.

The second game between Ng Ka Long Angus and Lakshya Sen was supposed to be a thriller and that is how it turned out. Lakshya started the proceedings with a 22-20 win in the first game.

Angus came back hard in the second game and despite resistance from Lakshya won the game 21-19. The deciding game was a roller coaster ride as both shuttlers kept pushing each other.

It was a mistake from Lakshya which gave Angus the win and Hong Kong a lead of 2-0.

Everything lay on the shoulders of makeshift pair of Dhruv Kapila/Chirag Shetty. They were stunned in the first game as the pair of Tang/Yeung won 22-20.

Dhruv and Chirag came with all guns blazing in the second game and won it 21-16 as the opponents failed to match the tempo. The third game was an easy win for the pair as they won 21-11 owing to the brilliant mix of defense and attack.

India's best women's shuttler, PV Sindhu was stunned by 20-year-old Saloni Mehta as she lost the first game 16-21. Although the resistance from the opponent didn't last long as Sindhu dominated the next games to win the match 16-21, 21-7, 21-9.

With the tie standing at 2-2, it was the pair of Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand to drive the Indian team to the semi-finals.

Coming from a big win against Malaysia, Treesa/Gayatri entered the court to win and they made it look easy to win the final match 21-13, 21-13 giving India a memorable win and first-ever medal in Asia Mixed team championships.

Domination in Group Stage

Indian team dominated in the group stage and emerged as the winners of Group B which consisted of Kazakhstan, UAE, and Malaysia.

India started the campaign with an easy with against Kazakhstan and followed it up with another easy 5-0 win against the hosts UAE.

In the final group game, India crushed Malaysia to finish at the top of the group and was drawn with Hong Kong in the quarter-finals.

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