Badminton Asia C’ships: Sindhu, Prannoy, Tanisha-Ashwini lose as Indian campaign ends

India’s campaign at the 2024 Badminton Asia Championships in Ningbo, China came to an end on Thursday as PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy and the doubles pair of Tanisha Crasto-Ashwini Ponnappa all lost their respective round of 16 matches.

Crasto-Ponnappa faced off against Japan’s world No 3 pair of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida in the women’s doubles round of 16 match.

The Indians started strongly keeping a narrow lead over their opponents in the opening exchanges before opening up a 15-7 lead. Matsuyama and Shida began their comeback as they won four points in a row.

Crasto and Ponnappa stayed in the lead at 17-12 but the Japanese pair won the next nine points in a row to clinch the first game in stunning fashion.

Matsuyama and Shida took the momentum into the second game racing to a 14-4 lead. Even though the Indians attempted a comeback, it wasn’t enough as the Japanese pair clinched the match 21-17, 21-12.

Prannoy, fresh after his late-night marathon 90-minute match against Lu Guang Zu on Wednesday, faced off against Chinese-Taipei’s Lin Chun-Yi in the round of 16.

In a closely-contested first game, Lin held the lead for most the game with Prannoy close behind. The Indian levelled the score at 15-15 only for his opponent six of the next nine points to take the lead.

Prannoy took the lead early in the second game but it did not last long as Lin took the lead at the mid-game break at 11-8. From then on, Lin took the game by the scruff of its neck ending it with a six-point run to clinch the match 21-18, 21-11.

Sindhu took on sixth seed Han Yue having won all five of their previous meetings. She began by looking to make it six wins in a row after racing to a 13-7 lead. However, Han began chipping at Sindhu’s lead and then went on a six-point run to take a 16-15 lead. She rode the momentum to clinch the first game 21-18.

Sindhu fought back in the second game to win it 21-13 to force a decider. The Indian had a narrow lead at 9-7, but Han won 10 of the next 11 points to turn it around. Sindhu tried to mount a comeback but Han, backed by vocal home support, clinched the match 21-18, 13-21, 21-17.

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