Asian Games: India blank Maldives 3-0 in badminton team event

World No 8. Srikanth brushed aside Maldives’ Hussein Zayan Shaheed Zaki 21-4, 21-5 in 18 minutes to give India a 1-0 lead.

The Indian badminton team, led by Kidambi Srikanth, made a resounding start to its campaign at the 18th Asian Games.

The Indian badminton team, led by Kidambi Srikanth, made a resounding start to its campaign at the 18th Asian Games, thrashing minnows Maldives 3-0 in the opening match of the team competition on Sunday.

World No 8. Srikanth brushed aside Maldives’ Hussein Zayan Shaheed Zaki 21-4, 21-5 in 18 minutes to give India a 1-0 lead.

World No. 11 H S Prannoy then took 21 minutes to outclass Mohamed Sarim 21-8, 21-6 and make it 2-0 in India’s favour.

B Sai Praneeth, who had clinched the 2017 Singapore Open, then ended the challenge of Mohamed Ajfan Rasheed in just 22 minutes with a 21-7, 21-8 demolition as India wrapped up the contest 3-0.

The Indian men’s team will next face hosts Indonesia on Monday in the quarterfinals.

Indonesia, who received a first-round bye, boasts of good players such as Jonathan Christie and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the singles, while their doubles line-up comprise World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and World No. 9 Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto.

The women’s team, led by Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu, will play formidable Japan in the quarterfinals after receiving a bye in the opening round.