Indian women go down 1-3 to South Korea; settle for third place for the eighth time
Incheon: India's badminton sensation, PV Sindhu went the full distance in the Asian Games team semi-finals but was still unable to put it past Korean Bae Yeon Ju, the very player she had beaten en route to her historic second World Championships medal a few weeks back.
PV Sindhu makes a return during her match against Bae Yeon Ju yesterday. Pic/PTI
The result was India, who went one-up after Saina Nehwal's 21-12, 10-21, 21-9 win over Sung Jihyun, were first caught at 1-1 and then folded 1-3 as the all-round superiority of the hosts ended their journey.
So, the Indians were left with their bronze. Sindhu lost 21-14, 18-21, 13-21 as she was just not able to find her rhythm after being 11-11 at one stage in the third game.
N Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre lost their doubles to Kim Soyeng and Yena Chang 16-21, 17-21 and then PC Thulasi was outplayed 21-12, 21-8 by Kim Hyomin in the third singles and there was no need for Ashwini Ponappa and Sindhu to take the court for the second singles.
Sindhu did not give any excuses for loss and said, "I just could not get going in the second half of the third game. It was very close and I kept telling myself that I could do it. But it did not happen."
She did not blame the draft that Saina had talked about when asked for the reason for the way she lost the second game. "The draft is same for both. I played one game from there and so did she, but in the final game I could not do much."
She added, "I have played and won against her and also lost a few times and she is a very good player." Sindhu and Bae both won bronze medals at the 2013 World Championships, but Bae beat Sindhu in second round in 2012. This year in 2014, Sindhu beat Bae in quarters and assured her medal.
'Koreans are strong'
Saina earlier said, "There was no pressure. As for medals I have won lots and I just wanted to play a good match and win. The Koreans are a very strong team." The doubles in particular is a major strength of the Koreans.
China beat Japan in the other semi-final and will now clash with Korea for the gold medal.
Prior to the ongoing Asian Games, India had won seven bronze in badminton. The only Indian to have won an individual medal has been late Syed Modi in 1982.
> 1974, Teheran: Men's team
> 1982, New Delhi: Men's singles (Syed Modi), Men's doubles, Mixed doubles, Men's team and Women's team
> 1986, Seoul: Men's team