Asian Games: Make-or-break day for India in team badminton

On Monday, India takes on Indonesia in the men’s quarterfinal, while its women’s team locks horns with Uber Cup champion Japan.

Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung scripted a great comeback to shut out Hong Kong’s Yi Cheung Ngan on Sunday.   -  AFP

As K. Srikanth toyed with Maldives’ Shahid Zaki in the 18th Asian Games badminton men’s team opener, the Indian had enough time to have a quick look at the next court where Indonesia’s Marsika Gregoria authored a great comeback to shut out Hong Kong’s Yi Cheung Ngan in a women’s encounter.

Marsika appeared to be struggling initially but with the home crowd screaming its lungs out in support, she gained new energy.

Noisy arena

Indonesia loves badminton, it is a country that has produced greats like Taufik Hidayat and Susi Susanti, and the noisy GBK Istora Stadium was packed. Ngan appeared lost in all the noise and a little later, the host walked away with a 3-0 victory.

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That women’s match would have given Srikanth an idea of what to expect when India plays Indonesia in the men’s quarterfinal on Monday after the team blanked Maldives 3-0 in the opener on Sunday.

Monday will be a make-or-break day for India will also take on Uber Cup champion Japan in the women’s quarterfinal. Three months ago, Japan had blanked India 5-0 in the Uber Cup, virtually the World women’s team championship, while Indonesia took the third and fourth spots in the men’s Thomas Cup.

“Both the matches will be tough,” said Gopi Chand. The loud crowd is likely to make it tougher.