In a historic moment, the Indian men’s badminton team has clinched a well-deserved medal at the Asian Games after an impressive 37-year hiatus. This remarkable achievement was realized with a flawless 3-0 victory over Nepal in the quarterfinals held in Hangzhou on a memorable Friday.
The Indian squad delivered an exceptional performance, making their way to the semifinals of the 19th Asian Games without encountering any significant challenges. The trio of Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Shrikanth, and Mithun Manjunath each played a pivotal role in this triumph, securing their victories in straight games.
The campaign began with Lakshya Sen setting the tone by defeating Prince Dahal with an impressive scoreline of 21-5, 21-8, thus granting India a 1-0 lead in the contest. Kidambi Srikanth, a former World No. 1, continued the dominance by breezing through his match against Sunil Joshi in straight sets, winning 21-4, 21-13. Joshi, from Nepal, found himself outmatched by Kidambi’s skill and precision, managing to secure just four points in the first game.
While Sunil Joshi did muster some resistance in the second set, Kidambi’s performance remained unwavering, securing a comfortable victory. In the final match of the tie, Mithun Manjunath displayed his prowess by overpowering Bishnu Katuwal with an authoritative score of 21-2, 21-7, cementing India’s place in the semifinals.
Mithun Manjunath’s dominant performance left no room for doubt regarding India’s place in the semis, and the team now eagerly anticipates their next challenge against the winner of the match between Indonesia and Korea. The ultimate goal is to secure a spot in the final and vie for the coveted gold medal.
Meanwhile, the Indian women’s badminton team, competing in the team competition in Hangzhou, faced a disappointing quarterfinal exit. They suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Thailand in their quarterfinal match, which marked the end of their campaign in the team event.