Dongguan (China), May 13 (IANS): With their 1-4 loss to three-time champions South Korea in Group 1D, India were knocked out of the Sudirman Cup at the Dongfeng Nissan Sports Center here on Wednesday.
India’s best bet Saina Nehwal was the only shuttler to win a match as her compatriots lost in all the other four categories of the World Mixed Team Badminton Championships. Group toppers Malaysia and South Korea qualified for the quarter-finals. India had lost their opening encounter 2-3 to Malaysia on Monday.
India started the contest on a losing note with Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang taking only 36 minutes to move past Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar 21-10, 21-19 in the men’s doubles. This was the third win of the World No.9 pair over their Indian counterparts in as many meetings.
Later, women’s singles World No.2 Saina levelled the tie by beating Yeon Ju Bae in a marathon match that lasted an hour and eight minutes. World No.13 Yeon gave a tough fight to her old nemesis but Saina eventually came out on top to win 20-22, 21-17, 13-21 and take a 8-4 lead in career meetings. With the win, the Olympic bronze medallist evened the contest at 1-1 for India.
However, the tide totally turned in favour of South Korea as the east Asian country won the next three contests to totally dominate India.
World No.5 Son Wan Ho defeated Commonwealth Games men’s singles champion Parupalli Kashyap 13-21, 21-14, 21-13 in an hour and five minutes to give South Korea a crucial 2-1 lead. Though Kashyap had won their previous encounter, Son exacted revenge by beating the Hyderabadi for the third time in four career meetings.
It was all over when 2011 World Championships bronze medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost a 56-minute women’s doubles battle to World No.75 Chang Ye Na and Jung Kyung Eun. The South Koreans won 18-21, 21-12, 21-12 to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.
Though Jwala and Ashwini are ranked much higher than Chang and Jung at 22, the South Koreans displayed pure grit to upset their much-favoured opponents and bag the match for their team.
The final match — mixed doubles — was only a formality but had to be completed as Kim Ha Na and Ko Sung Hyun took care of Manu Attri and N. Sikki Reddy 21-12, 22-20 in 36 minutes.