Hong Kong ends India’s Thomas Cup journey

India’s badminton team is out of the Thomas Cup as it lost to Hong Kong 2-3, marking its second successive defeat in the group stage.

B. Sai Praneeth put up a valiant display as he overcame No.14 Hu Yun 23-21, 23-21 in 47 minutes.   -  Nagara Gopal

India’s badminton team is out of the Thomas Cup as it lost to Hong Kong 2-3, marking its second successive defeat in the group stage.

India, having suffered the first loss to Thailand on Sunday in Group B, fought hard despite losing first two matches. B. Sai Praneeth and Sourabh Verma won the singles contests but Hong Kong proved stronger in the doubles.

With top two teams advancing to the quarterfinals, India’s hopes have all but ended as it is the only side that is without a point yet. Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong all have a point each.

India will play their final group game on Wednesday against Indonesia, which has a much stronger team than Hong Kong.

World No. 21 Ajay Jayaram faltered against No.11 Ka Long Angus Ng 13-21, 12-21 in 31 minutes and later Hong Kong made it 2-0 when Chin Chung Or and Chun Man Tang beat India’s top pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-19, 21-12 in 32 minutes.

World No.34 Praneeth put up a valiant display as he overcame No.14 Hu Yun 23-21, 23-21 in 47 minutes. This win opened the account for India.

However, Hong Kong sealed the contest in the second doubles rubber as Tsz Kit Chan and Cheuk Him Law took only 24 minutes to crush the challenge of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 21-10, 21-11.

In the third singles match, Sourabh stunned world No.17 Wei Nan 17-21, 21-19, 21-9 in 47 minutes to make it 2—-.

Lin Dan vows to 'find rhythm' after scare

Chinese badminton legend Lin Dan vowed to find his Thomas Cup "rhythm" after scrambling to salvage a three-game win over an unknown French opponent at the world team championship in Kunshan, China.

The world number three described his Monday night opening match as "tough", after dropping the first game to France's Lucas Corvee before storming back to win 20-22, 21-14, 21-8.

"I didn't expect to win this match in such a tough way," said Lin. "But it doesn't mean that I played badly, this match will help me to get fit and find my rhythm."

Following the sub-par performance the 32-year-old vowed to give his all during his eighth appearance at the team championships.

"I will do my best," the two-time Olympic gold medallist said.

Despite Lin's slow start, the Chinese men walloped the French national team 5-0, securing a spot in the tournament's quarter finals.

After sweeping France and Mexico, the tournament favourites and home nation are set to square off with Japan on Wednesday, where they'll be hungry to avenge the shock 2014 defeat.

The sport's pre-eminent nation was stunned two years ago in the semi-finals by Japan, who then beat Malaysia to secure the country's first Thomas Cup victory.

However, the odds are not in the Japanese favour in Kunshan this week after the star of the 2014 Thomas Cup Kento Momota was axed by authorities in April over a gambling scandal.

China's men won the Thomas Cup five times in a row until their defeat to Japan.

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