India’s campaign ends with 1-4 loss to Korea in Sudirman Cup
Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was the only bright spot in what turned out to be a dismal day for the Indian badminton team as it crashed out of the prestigious Sudirman Cup after a 1-4 loss to three-time champions Korea in a Group 1D tie, here on Wednesday.
World No. 2 Saina produced a determined performance to edge out former world no. 5 Bae Yeon Ju 22-20 17-21 21-13 in the women’s singles but no other Indian could outwit the Koreans as their campaign ended on a disappointing note.
India were pegged back 0-1 after men’s doubles pair of <g data-gr-id="27">Pranaav</g> Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar went down 10-21 19-21 to world no. 8 combination of Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang. The 25-year-old Saina then brought India back in the contest but once Parupalli Kashyap’s gritty fight against world no. 5 Son Wan Ho ended with a 21-13 14-21 13-21 loss, the writing was on the wall for India.
2011 World Championship bronze medallist combo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa then conjured up hopes of a win before going down fighting 21-18 12-21 12-21 to Chang Ye Na and Jung Kyung Eun. India’s mixed doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sikki Reddy N then lost 12-21 20-22 to Kim Ha Na and Ko Sung Hyun in the final match to end the agony for India. India had suffered a 2-3 loss against Malaysia in their opening tie of Group 1D on Monday.
In women’s singles, Korea fielded Ju Bae ahead of world no. 7 Sung Ji Hyun against Saina probably because of her better record against the Indian and the ploy seemed to be working initially.
Ju troubled Saina initially to enter the break with <g data-gr-id="24">a 11-9</g> advantage. The Indian, however, kept breathing down her neck and eventually pocketed the game from 18-20 down with four straight points.