One of the most prestigious badminton tournaments in the world, Thomas and Uber Cup, started today in Kunshan, China.
Indian men’s team, in absence if star Shuttler K Srikanth, who opted out in order to prepare for Rio 2016 and HS Prannoy, out due to a toe injury were up against Thailand in the first match of the Thomas Cup.
Besides Thailand, India are grouped with Indonesia and Hong Kong. A win in this match was very important ahead of matches against Hong Kong and Indonesia. But the Indian shuttlers couldn’t live up to the expectations and lost the game 1-3. B Sai Praneeth was the only winner for India.
In the opening match World No. 21, India’s Ajay Jayaram went head to head against Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk. He lost 16-21, 21-12, 14-21 in a match that lasted 46 minutes, courtesy a mid game collapse he suffered.
This was followed by a doubles defeat of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B at the hands of Bodin Issara and Nipitphon Puangpuapech. The Indian shuttlers lost in straight sets of 17-21, 6-21 in a game that lasted 30 minutes.
In the 2nd singles match, B Sai Praneeth showed some great skills to beat Kosit Phetpradab 21-11, 21-16 in 36 minutes and made it 1-2.
In the 2nd doubles game, Indian pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Satwik Sai Raj lost 15-21, 21-14, 15-21 to Puavaranukroh Dechapol and Kedren Kittinupong of Thailand in a 56 minute hard fought battle. Thailand were declared 3-1 winners as 5th game between Saurabh Varma and Adulrat Namkul wouldn’t have made any difference.
Indian men will next take on Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Indian women meanwhile, will begin their journey in this year’s Uber Cup tomorrow against Australia. The other teams in the group include Germany and Japan.
Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu would battle 2 of the 3 single ties while the 3rd one would be either Tanvi Lad, PC Thulasi or Pradnya Gadre.
The teams of Jwala Gutta -Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy – Maneesha will represent India in doubles.
Indian women will be looking to create history like they did in 2014, winning the Bronze medal.