New Delhi: The Indian contingent consisting of both men and women advanced to the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia Team Championships at Alor Setar, Kedah in Malaysia on Wednesday.
It was also for a second consecutive day that the Indian team went unbeaten as the men, just a day after routing Philippines 5-0, brushed aside minnows Maldives 5-0 to progress. The women’s contingent, a day earlier had overcome Hong Kong 3-2 to advance to the quarters.
While the men’s team now square off against Indonesia, the women led by Olympics medallist PV Sindhu will face Badminton powerhouse Japan on Thursday. Both these matches will decide the group topper.
Returning to the court afterva day’s rest it was captain and world no 5 Kidambi Srikanth who began the proceedings for India with a scintillating win over rival Shaheed Hussein Zayan 21-5, 21-6, in straight sets and in just 19 minutes.
B Sai Praneeth then needed just 17 minutes to outplay Ahmed Nibal 21-10, 21-4 and make it 2-0 for India within the first two games of the day. Sameer Verma soon followed suit with a 21-5, 21-1 win over Mohamed Arsalaan Ali.
India had already won the tie 3-0 in the opening three games, making the twin doubles match a dead rubber but the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and MR Arjun-Shlok Ramchandran ensured India pulverised Maldives with a clean-sheet.
While the pair of Rankireddy and Shetty defeated Shaheed Hussein Zayan and Shaheem Hassan Afsheem 21-8, 21-8 in over 20 minutes, the duo of Arjun and Shlok needed just 13 minutes to send Mohamed Arsalaan Ali and Ahmed Nibal paking with a 21-2, 21-5 straight sets win.
Both the Indian men’s and women’s team will play their final group match on Thursday against Indonesia and Japan — both of whom have also qualified for the quarter-finals — on Thursday.