India enter semifinals, ensure first medal in continental badminton meet

Dubai, 17 Feb: India staged a remarkable comeback to down Hong Kong 3-2 and qualify for the semifinals of the Asia Mixed Team Badminton Championships and ensure a first-ever medal in the continental tournament here on Friday.
Down 0-2, the Indians showed great fighting spirit as the doubles pair of Dhruv Kapila and Chirag Shetty and PV Sindhu levelled the scores after reverses in the first two matches.
In the first match of the tie, the mixed doubles pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto fought hard before losing 24-26 17-21 against Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Tsz Yau NG to hand Hong Kong a 1-0 lead.
World No. 11 and Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen squandered a game lead to lose 22-20 19-21 18-21 against world No. 14 Ka Long Angus NG in one hour and 10 minutes.
The men’s doubles pair of Kapila and Shetty pulled one back for India with a hard-fought 20-22 21-16 21-11 win over Tang Chun Man and Yeung Shing Choi.
In the women’s singles match, two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu had to dig deep to get the better of Saloni Samirbhai Mehta 16-21 21-7 21-9 and level the scores at 2-2.
In the decider, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand defeated Tsz Yau NG and Wing Yung NG 21-13 21-12 in the women’s doubles to clinch the tie. (PTI)