Sindhu, Saina crash out of Badminton Asia Championships

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HYDERABAD, April 26: Indian shuttlers will return empty handed from the Badminton Asia Championships as all the three singles players bit the dust in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Last year, Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy won bronze medals but this year it proved a complete wash out. Despite boasting of a badminton revolution wherein the country produced two world No. 1 shuttlers and two Olympic medallists, none of the star players managed to break the 54-year gold medal jinx at this championship. It was way back in 1965 that Dinesh Khanna emerged as the men’s singles champion. Since then no Indian has matched his feat.
Saina won three bronze medals – 2010, 2016, 2018, Sindhu won a bronze in 2014 and Prannoy bagged the bronze last year. However, none of the shuttlers from the modern era managed to reach the final of this event.
On Friday, Sameer started the proceedings for India in a disastrous fashion. He could hardly give a fight to second seed Shi Yuqi of China and crashed to 10-21, 12-21 loss.
Saina, however, fought hard before going down to Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 13-21, 23-21, 16-21. After losing the first game, Saina recovered from 6-9 in the second game. The Indian gained the upper hand after the 12th point as she secured a lead of 18-14. Though Yamaguchi fought back, Saina managed to win the important points towards the end and pushed the contest to the decider. (TNN)