Indian women assured of bronze medal

The Indian women’s badminton team assured itself of at least a bronze medal after notching up a comfortable 3-1 win over Thailand in the quarterfinals of the Uber Cup here on Thursday.

The Indian women’s team had created history in the last edition when it clinched a bronze in New Delhi after losing to Japan in the semifinals.

On a day when India’s top shuttler Saina Nehwal bit the dust against 2013 World champion Ratchanok Intanon in the first singles, P.V. Sindhu and the pair of G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa took the responsibility on themselves and won the second singles and first doubles.

It was young shuttler Ruthvika Shivani who sealed the win for India after she dished out a superb game to outclass Nitchaon Jindapol in the second singles.

India is likely to take on China in the semifinals.

Olympic bronze-medallist Saina started the proceedings but she could not breach the defence of World No. 2 Ratchanok, who notched up a 21-12, 21-19 win over the Indian to give Thailand a 1-0 lead.

It was World No. 8 Saina’s fifth defeat to the Thai girl.

However, World No. 10 Sindhu brought India back in the hunt after registering a 21-18, 21-7 win over Busanan Ongbumrungphan in the second singles which lasted 43 minutes.

In the first doubles, Jwala and Ashwini prevailed 21-19, 21-12 over Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in a 39-minute clash to make it 2-1 in India’s favour.

Ruthvika was then given the responsibility of taking India home and the 19-year-old showed her prowess with a 21-18, 21-16 win over World No. 25 Nitchaon in a 41-minute third singles to seal victory for India.

The second doubles between Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai and N. Sikki Reddy and Sindhu was thus rendered inconsequential.

The results: India bt Thailand 3-1 (Saina Nehwal lost to Ratchanok Intanon 12-21, 19-21; P.V. Sindhu bt Busanan Ongbumrungphan 21-18, 21-7; G. Jwala & Ashwini Ponnappa bt Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-19, 21-12; Ruthvika Shivani bt Nitchaon Jindapol 21-18, 21-16).