India’s men’s team, led by world championship bronze medalist Lakshya Sen, cruised to a 3-2 win over Hong Kong in Group A to keep their slim hopes of advancing to the championships knockout stage alive. badminton team in Asia here on Thursday.
The crushing 0-5 loss to Korea in their opening match made life difficult for India who currently sit third in Group A, just above Hong Kong, with one win and one loss.
Three-time defending champions Indonesia and Korea are currently leading in the hunt to qualify from Group A.
Indian Open winner Lakshya Sen, Mithun Manjunath and doubles duo Hariharan Amsakarunan and Ruban Rethinasabapathi Kumar gave a good look at themselves in the five-game draw.
World number 13 Lakshya opened the proceedings, beating world number 17 Lee Cheuk Yiu, silver medalist at the 2013 Asian Youth Games, 21-19, 21-10 in 35 minutes to give India a good start .
Hong Kong took control of the game with Law Cheuk Him and Lee Chun Hei Reginald picking up a thrilling 20-22, 21-15, 21-18 win over Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Dingku Singh Konthoujam.
Indian Women’s Team Loses 2-3 to Malaysia at Asian Team Badminton Championships
Kiran George, who won his first Super 100 event in Odisha, put on a fiery show before losing 13-21, 21-17, 9-21 to Chan Yin Chak as Hong Kong led 2-0 after three matches.
Hariharan and Ruban, who won India’s Senior Ranking Badminton Tournament in Chennai last December, edged Hong Kong’s Chow Hin Long and Lui Chun Wai 21-17, 21-16 to hold India down afloat.
Manjunath, who had reached the semi-finals of the Syed Modi Super 300, then beat Jason Gunawan 21-14, 17-21, 21-11 to give India a fine 3-2 win.
However, the men’s team will have to claim an outright victory against title holders Indonesia on Friday and will also have to lose Korea to Hong Kong to make an unlikely entry into the knockout stage.
India and Korea currently have one win and one loss, and whether both teams win on Friday will depend on the number of games and games won and lost, where Korea leads.
The Indian women’s team lost their opening match 2-3 against Malaysia. They will face defending champions Japan on Friday.