India Out of Sudirman Cup: Srikanth, Satwik-Chirag Lose to Malaysia

India Out of Sudirman Cup: Srikanth, Satwik-Chirag Lose to Malaysia

On the first anniversary of their celebrated Thomas Cup victory, Indian badminton stars PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth found themselves unable to reignite the spirit of their nation as they were unceremoniously eliminated from the Sudirman Cup tournament. Their hopes were dashed by an overpowering Malaysian team, who secured a resounding 5-0 victory on Monday, May 15.

Kidambi Srikanth, a key player in India’s singles lineup, struggled with inconsistency throughout his match against Lee Zii Jia. Despite displaying glimpses of his exceptional skill, Srikanth faltered and ultimately suffered a disheartening defeat with a score of 21-16, 21-11. In contrast, PV Sindhu exhibited remarkable resilience after losing the first game of her match. However, she faltered during crucial moments, leading to her downfall.

Sindhu’s encounter against Goh Jin Wei, ranked 30th in the world, was a thrilling spectacle. She began on a sour note, conceding the first game with a score of 14-21. Yet, displaying her champion’s resolve, Sindhu bounced back in the second game, dominating her opponent with a commanding 21-10 victory. Unfortunately, she couldn’t maintain her momentum and narrowly succumbed in a fiercely contested final game, ending with a close margin of 22-20. Despite her valiant efforts to recover lost ground, Sindhu found herself on the wrong side of victory.

Voicing her disappointment after the match, PV Sindhu expressed, “It is quite disheartening to find myself trailing by a significant margin in the third set, especially when I managed to mount a comeback. I had a real opportunity to seize the momentum.” Reflecting on the match, she lamented, “Coming so close and relinquishing those crucial points is truly disheartening. On the whole, it was an exceptional match, but I should have maintained my lead or, at the very least, equalized in the third game. Instead, I unintentionally allowed my opponent to establish a considerable advantage, which ultimately proved to be the deciding factor.”

The task facing Dhruv Kapila and Ashwini Ponnappa was nothing short of daunting. The Indian duo was pitted against the formidable 8th-ranked pair of Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie. Despite the uphill battle, Kapila and Ponnappa showcased immense determination and fought valiantly. However, their efforts fell short, and they endured defeat with a scoreline of 16-21, 17-21 in a match that lasted 35 minutes.

As a consequence, India’s Sudirman Cup campaign came to a disappointing end as they finished third in the group stage. Chinese Taipei and Malaysia claimed the top two positions, securing their spots in the quarterfinals. Although India fell short of their aspirations, they can still draw valuable lessons from this experience as they look ahead to future challenges on the badminton court.

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