Incheon: India went down to hosts South Korea 1-3 in the women’s team badminton semi-finals to settle for their maiden bronze medal at the Asian Games.
This was India’s first medal in badminton since the team bronze won by the men in Seoul, 1986.
In the first singles, India’s No. 1 shuttler, Saina Nehwal pulled off a hard fought victory against Korean world no. 4 Sung Jihyun 21-12 10-21 21-9 in 56 minutes.
But thereafter, the Indians lost their next three matches to go down to a formidable opponent.
P V Sindhu fought tooth and nail before losing in a 79-minute thriller to the host country’s left-handed world no. 6 Bae Yeonju 21-14 18-21 21-13 that levelled the tie 1-1.
Again the lack of depth in the Indian squad came to bite them as Korean pair of Kim Soyeong and Chang Yena won the first doubles against the Indian duo of Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy in straight games 16-21 17-21, and then Korea’s Kim Hyomin smashed P C Thulasi 21-12 21-18 to settle the issue in the hosts’ favor.
India along with other losing semifinalist Japan (who lost to title favorites China 1-3) automatically gained the bronze.