New Delhi, 6 October: HS Prannoy fought through a back injury to defeat Malaysia’s Lee Zii to assure India a second badminton medal, while two-time Olympic medallist, PV Sindhu’s campaign at the Asian Games ended after she was ousted by China's world no 5, He Bingjia in the quarter-finals in Hangzhou on Thursday.

Prannoy braved a back injury to overpower Jia a former All-England champion 21-16, 21-23, 22-20 in the singles quarter-finals. .

The Indian clinched the first game comfortably but squandered two match points in the second as the contest went to a decider. The Malaysian led most of the third game but Prannoy, despite his injury, managed to stay on Jia’s tail.

In what turned out to be a grand finish, as the Indian saved two match points of his own before closing out the match to confirm his spot in the top four. In the process, Prannoy who won a bronze medal at the BWF World Championships in Copenhagen earlier this year, confirmed India’s second badminton medal in Hangzhou.

He also becomes the second Indian to win a men’s singles medal at the Asian Games after Syed Modi, who secured a bronze at New Delhi in 1982.

Earlier PV Sindhu, lost to He Bingjiao 21-16, 21-12 in the quarter-finals in 47 minutes, ending India’s quest for a medal in the badminton women’s events at the Asian Games. Asmita Chaliha, the other Indian in the fray, was knocked out in the round of 32.

Sindhu defeated He Bingjiao,  at the Tokyo Olympics to win the bronze medal. Before their match in Hangzhou, the Indians had defeated the Chinese r in four of their last five matches.

But the story was different here as He Bingjiao, a two-time world championships medalist, started on a commanding note in the quarter-final. The Chinese raced to an early lead at 9-5, by dominating net play and also forcing her rival to commit unforced errors.

Towards the end of the first game, Sindhu picked up some momentum to win three points in a row and bring the score to within two points (16-18), but Bingjiao sealed the game 21-16.

Sindhu was outpaced by Bingjiao’s pace and energy, who also had the home support cheering every point. In the second game, the Chinese raced to an early lead again at 5-1 before the Indians drew level at 8-8. Just when it looked like Sindhu was back in the game, He Bingjiao upped the ante and won the next 13 points to Sindhu’s four to take the second game 21-12.

Sindhu won a silver medal in the women’s singles at Jakarta 2018, which remains India’s joint-best result at the Asian Games. India are yet to pick up a badminton gold medal at the continental event.


must read