Indian men reach Thomas Cup quarters

Aarhus, Oct 13 (PTI): The Indian men’s badminton team hammered Tahiti 5-0 to enter the quarterfinals of the Thomas Cup for the first time since 2010 but the women’s team suffered a crushing 0-5 defeat against a strong Thailand in its last group match here.
It was the first defeat for Indian women after beating Spain (3-2) and Scotland (4-1). The women’s team has already reached the quarterfinals.
The men’s team, on Tuesday, recorded its second straight 5-0 win, having beaten the Netherlands with an identical margin on Sunday. The team is now in last-eight stage and the last time Indian men made the quarterfinals of the tournament, they had lost to Indonesia.
In the Uber Cup, the Indian women’s team wrapped up its Group B engagement with a drubbing at the hands of Thailand. Malvika Bansod lost the opening women’s singles 15-21 11-21 to Pornpawee Chochowong.
India needed to win the next doubles match but Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki N Reddy went down fighting 16-21 12-21 to Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.
For India to stay alive, it was imperative for Aditi Bhatt to win the next singles match. She fought her heart out but lost 16-21 21-18 15-21 to Busanan Ongbamrungphan in a match that lasted 59 minutes. Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand then fought hard before losing 17-21 16-21 to Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Tasnim Mir took the court with an aim to avoid a whitewash but lost 19-21 15-21 to Supaninda Katethong. Tasnim had a good chance to win the first game as she was leading 17-14 but lost points in a jiffy to let slip advantage. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s win over Tahiti ensured that Indian men’s team will finish in top-two in the four-team Group C. India will take on traditional powerhouse China in the final match on Thursday. B Sai Praneeth began the proceedings with a 21-5 21-6 win over Louis Beaubois in just 23 minutes in the opening singles. Sameer Verma made it 2-0 with an easy 21-12 21-12 victory over Remi Rossi in 41 minutes.
Kiran George sealed the tie for India with a 21-4 21-2 thrashing of Elias Maublanc in the third men’s singles that got over in only 15 minutes.
In the inconsequential doubles matches, the pair of Krishna Prasad and Vishnu Vardhan achieved a 21-8 21-7 win in 21 minutes before Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Maublanc and Heiva Yvonet 21-5 21-3.

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