Hyderabad: It is going to be that much more difficult for the national men’s badminton squad to qualify for the 2016 Thomas Cup finals, following their quarterfinal exit at the Badminton Asian Team Championships (BATC).
They lost 2-3 to hosts India.
Malaysia needed a top four finish in India for automatic qualification to the Thomas Cup finals in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, China, from May 15-22.
However, the national squad still can qualify for Kunshan if they are able to finish in the top six, and hope China and Japan will defeat South Korea and Chinese Taipei respectively in the other quarterfinal fixtures to confirm their top four finish.
China and Japan have already booked their berths to Kunshan as hosts and defending champion.
In today’s action at the GMC Balayogi Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad, India, world number nine and India’s top men’s singles, K Srikanth gave the advantage to the hosts by defeating 2011 world junior champion, Zulfadli Zulkiffli 21-14 and 21-15.
Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy later doubled the lead by edging Low Juan Shen/Tan Kian Meng 21-10, 20-22 and 21-16.
Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin managed to reduce the deficit by bouncing back against Ajay Jayaram for a 17-21, 21-12 and 21-16 win.
Ong Yew Sin-Teo Yi Ee pair followed Iskandar’s winning ways by keeping the hopes high with a 21-14, 14-21 and 21-12 win against Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar.
However, in the last match, Soo Teck Zhi failed to overcome India’s number two singles, HS Prannoy after going down in 12-21 and 20-22.
In semifinals, India will face Indonesia who mauled Hong Kong 3-0 in another quarterfinal fixture.