New Delhi, March 20: HS Prannoy and the men's doubles pair of MR Arjun and Shlok Ramchandran's valiant effort went in vain as India suffered a narrow 2-3 defeat to Singapore in their first match at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The tie started off in Singapore's favour when the mixed doubles pair of Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Tan Wei Han beat India's MR Arjun and Rutaparna Panda 21-16, 21-13.
2018 Asian Championships bronze medallist HS Prannoy then rebounded from a first-round defeat at the All England Open to secure a 21-8, 12-21, 21-17 win over Thailand Masters champion Kean Yew Loh.
After Prannoy levelled the tie, Arjun and Shlok put India ahead with a strong 21-16, 21-18 victory over Loh Kean Hean and Chrisnanta.
#TongYunKaiCup2019 🏸BAI Media (@BAI_Media) March 20, 2019
The young WD pair of #RutuparnaPanda and #SSArathi put up a gritty performance but suffer an unfortunate 24-22 15-21 16-21 loss in the final tie as 🇮🇳 goes down fighting 2-3 against 🇸🇬 in their first Group B tie. #IndiaontheRise #badminton pic.twitter.com/fu99SsihaZ
With India represented relatively by a young team, looking to wrap up the tie, it was left on the shoulders of Assamese wonderkid Ashmita Chaliha to pull it off. The National Championships bronze medallist fought bravely only to go down 21-17, 12-21, 16-21 to World No. 32 Yeo Jia Min.
In the final rubber of the tie, Indian women's doubles pair of Arathi Sara Sunil and Panda put up a show of grit and determination but it was not enough. Singapore's Putri Sari Dewi Citra and Lim Ming Hui got the tight 22-24, 21-15, 21-16 win in 1 hour 9 minutes.
With this loss, India is placed at the bottom of Group B, trailing Chinese Taipei and Singapore.
With most of the top Indian stars, including Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth rested ahead of next week's India Open, the contingent had a tough task at this tournament where they lost in the quarter-finals in the previous edition.
India next take on Chinese Taipei in a must-win encounter on Thursday.
Source: Press Release