Hangzhou, Sep 29 (IANS): Indian men's badminton team defeated Nepal 3-0 to enter the semifinal at the 19th Asian Games and secured a historic medal after a gap of 37 years.
India will next take on the winner of the match between Indonesia and South Korea, on Saturday.
The last time the men's team secured a medal at the esteemed continental tournament was during the 1986 Seoul edition. Icons such as Prakash Padukone and Syed Modi led the team, which included Vimal Kumar, Ravi Kunte, Uday Pawar, Sanat Mishra, and Leroy D’sa.
Lakshya Sen, world No. 14, beat Prince Dahal 21-5, 21-8 to give India a 1-0 lead before former world no. 1 Kidambi Srikanth trounced Sunil Joshi 21-4, 21-13 in second rubber to take India to a 2-0 up in the tie.
Then, Mithun Manjunath beat Bishnu Katuwal 21-2, 21-7 in Match 3 to seal India’s progress into the semifinal of the Men’s Team event.
However, the women's team bowed out in the quarterfinal after a 0-3 defeat against Thailand.
Indian ace PV Sindhu lost to Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-41, 15-21, 14-21 in the first match, while women's doubles pair of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly suffered 19-21, 5-21 to Kittitharakul and Prajongjai. In the third match, Ashmita Chaliha went down to Busanan Ongbamrungphan 9-21, 16-21.
While Sindhu took an early lead, Chochuwong bounced back to win the next two games, giving Thailand a 1-0 lead.
"I was in control in the first game and in the second game it was 4-4 and then suddenly I gave her the lead and by the time I recovered it was too late. I made a lot of unforced errors. There were long rallies where I was catching up but it was not enough," said Sindhu after the match.
India bagged their last women's team medal at the continental meet in the 2014 edition at Incheon. Sindhu and Ashwini Ponnappa were a part of that success.