Indian shuttlers eliminated from badminton team event

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Indian badminton challenge ended in both men's and women's team events in the Asian Games here on Saturday.

Updated: November 13, 2010 13:28 IST
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Indian badminton challenge ended in both men's and women's team events in the Asian Games here on Saturday.

The Indian teams, appearing in the Asian Games after more than two decades, have performed poorly and got eliminated in the first round of the team championships itself that commenced at the Tianhe Gymnasium on Saturday.

The women's team, spearheaded by their strongest singles medal hope Saina Nehwal, fell 2-3 to Indonesia after clinching the opening singles and doubles while the men were thrashed 3-1 by a strong Chinese Taipei team.

The World No 3 and Commonwealth Games singles gold medal winner Saina Nehwal gave the women's squad a flying start with a 21-16, 21-17 victory over World No 34 Adriyanti Firdasari in 30 minutes.

Top Indian women's doubles combination of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, winner of the gold medal in the CWG last month, made it 2-0 by upsetting World No 9 Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polli in a tough three-game contest 17-21, 21-17, 21-23 that lasted 44 minutes.

However, from a commanding position, the Indian hopes simply evaporated as Aditi Mutatkar was whipped by World No 24 Maria Fabe Kusumastuti 21-10, 21-16 in 24 minutes, and then they lost the second doubles and third singles too tamely.

Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant were unable to cope up with the pace set by Liliyana and Nitya Kashinda Maheswari to lose 21-11, 21-11 in just 16 minutes that helped Indonesia catch up at 2-2.

Inexperienced Arundhati Pantawane too was not equal to the task of winning the fifth rubber and went down 21-9 21-10 to Lindia Wenifanetri to shatter the hopes of an entry into the quarter-finals.

Men faced a tougher opposition in Taipei and lost after their singles players Parupelli Kashyap and Arvind Bhat gave their opponents a run for their money.

Kashyap, the top singles player here in the absence of national champion Chetan Anand, waged a one hour intense battle against Hsueh Hsuan Yi to win 18-21, 21-13, 23-21 in the second singles to make it 2-1 after India lost the opening singles and doubles.

Arvind Bhat took on World No 33 Yu Hsing Hsieh to three games before losing 26-28, 21 15, 13-21 in 52 minutes and then Sanave Thomas and Akshay Dewalkar lost tamely in straight games to the world's fifth ranked pair of Chieu-Min Fang and Lee Sheng Mu in just 25 minutes.

The top Indian pair V Diju and Rupesh Kumar too could not keep India in the hunt after Kashyap gave the team some hopes by winning his match, and went down 21-17, 22-20 to Hung Ling Chen and Lang Yu Lin, the World No 13, in 22 minutes to end the challenge.

Only individual events are left now for the shuttlers to make a mark.

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