Shooters Jitu Rai and Shweta Chaudhry began India’s campaign at the 17th Asian Games with a gold and bronze. Women’s badminton team assured India of at least a bronze towards the end of Day One in Incheon.
Jitu, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Gold medalist shot a total of 186.2 points to beat Vietnam’s Phuong Nguyen and clinch the coveted yellow metal while Shweta had, earlier, opened India’s account by winning a Bronze in the 10-metre Air Pistol event. She scored 176.4 to finish third.
In badminton, star shuttlers Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu led from the front as the women’s team stormed into the semi-finals assuring India of atleast a bronze. India thrashed Thailand 3-2 in the team quarters.
While Saina once again started off with a win to give India 1-0 lead after beating Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-15, 17-21, 21-18 in women’s team quarters, it was Sindhu, who followed her Hyderabadi teammate’s footsteps to beat Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in straight games in the second match to push India’s lead to 2-0 over Thailand.
India suffered a heartbreak in the third and fourth matches, after World no 41 PC Thulasi failed to live up to the expectations and suffered straight games 21-12, 21-14 defeat at the hands of Busanan Ongbamrungphan.
Thailand bounced back to pocket the fourth match as well after Nelakurthi Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre lost the fourth match 17-21, 21-18, 16-21 to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul.
But PV Sindhu and Ashwini Ponnappa, who were forced to pair up after Jwala Gutta ruled herself out due to an injury thrashed Thai duo of Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Saralee Thoungthongkam in the fifth and final match of the team’s quarterfinal event to take India to an unassailable lead of 3-2 and march into the semi-finals.
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