Hangzhou, Oct 1 : Indian men’s badminton team bagged silver medal at the 19th Asian Games after losing the gold medal match 2-3 to defending champions China, here on Sunday.
This was India’s first-ever silver in men’s team event in prestigious continental meet.
Moreover, this was India’s first medal in men’s team event in 37 years at the Asian Games.
The last time the men’s team secured a medal at the Asian Games 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.
Heading into the final match against the defending champions, India felt the absence of top singles player H.S Prannoy as he was not fielded on Sunday because of an injury he picked in the semifinal win against South Korea on Saturday.
In Prannoy’s absence.
Mithun Manjunath played the fifth match and lost to China’sHongyangWeng.
In the opening tie, Lakshya Sen beat world No.6 Shi Yuqi 22-20, 14-21, 21-18.Then, world No.3 in men’s doubles duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won 21-15, 21-18 against world no.2 pair Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang to give India early 2-0 lead.
But, the Chinese team levelled the gold medal tie 2-2 when Li Shifeng beat former world No.1 Srikanth 24-22, 21-9 and men’s pair of Liu Yuchen and Ou Xuanyi claimed a 21-6, 21-5 win against Dhruv Kapila and Sai Pratheek.
In the last tie, Manjunath failed save the match as he suffered 6-21, 15-21 loss.As a result, India lost the tie 2-3 and settled for the silver medal.
Badminton events at the Asian Games 2023 will continue with the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events, starting from October 2.
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