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Indian Teams Make Positive Start In Thomas And Uber Cup | Badminton News

Indian shuttlers had a good in office on the opening day of the Thomas and Uber Cup badminton tournament with both the teams registering 4-1 wins over their respective rivals in their opening ties on Saturday. Ashmita Chaliha produced an inspired show to stun higher-ranked Michelle Li as the Indian women’s team notched up a clinical win over Canada and then their male counterparts, defending champions, too dished out the same result against Thailand in their Thomas Cup Group C encounter.

The left-handed Chaliha, ranked 53rd, showed great mental resolve and tenacity as she outwitted world No. 25 Li, a gold and silver medallist at the 2014 and 2022 Commonwealth Games, 26-24 24-22 in a 42-minute opening singles clash.

Chaliha, who was part of India’s maiden Asia Team Championships win in February, took over the leadership role in the absence of the top guns including P V Sindhu and delivered against Li, who is on a comeback trail after undergoing surgery for a meniscus tear on her right knee last August.

Young women’s doubles pair of Priya Konjengbam and Shruti Mishra, who had claimed the senior national championships title last December, then beat Catherine Choi and Jeslyn Chow 21-12 21-10 to put India 2-0 ahead.

Isharani Baruah defeated Wen Yu Zhang 21-13 21-12 to help India take an unassailable 3-0 lead.

In the second women’s doubles, Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker went down 19-21 15-21 to Jackie Dent and Crystal before national champion Anmol Kharb beat Eliana Zhang 21-15 21-11 in the fifth and final match to complete the comfortable win.

Bigger clashes lie ahead for the young Indian side as it will face Singapore and China on Sunday and Tuesday respectively in Group A.

In Thomas Cup, HS Prannoy took the court first but lost 20-22 14-21 against Kunlavut Vitidsarn to leave India trailing 0-1.

Star Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty then had to battle it out for 65 minutes to get the better of Peeratchai Sukhpun and Pakkapon Teeraratsakul 21-19 19-21 21-12 to level the scores.

Then Lakshya Sen battled for 63 minutes to beat Panitchaphon Teeraratsakul 21-12 19-21 21-16 to give India the lead.

The second Indian men’s doubles combination of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila tamed Tanadon Punpanich and Wachirawit Sothon 21-19 21-15 to seal the tie in India’s favour.

In the inconsequential final match of the tie, Kidambi Srikanth made short work of Saran Jamsri 21-9 21-5 in just 29 minutes.

The Indian women will play Singapore in their next Group A tie in Uber Cup, while the men’s team will be up against England in their second fixture on Monday.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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