Badminton Asia Team C'ship: Indian Women Script History, Enter Finals

Indian women made their entry into the finals of the Badminton Asia Team Championships with their splendid performance on February 17. Star players Ashmita Chaliha, Anmol Kharb, Gayatri Gopichand and Jolly Treesa scripted history.

Tanya Savkoor
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Ashmita Chaliha

Ashmita Chaliha | Image: ashmichaliha, Instagram

Indian women scripted history, making their way to the Badminton Asia Team Championship finals for the first time. On February 17, star players Ashmita Chaliha and teenager Anmol Kharb won the singles matches, while the team of Gayatri Gopichand and Jolly Treesa won the doubles game. However, Olympic medallist PV Sindhu lost her singles match. The ongoing Championship in Selangor, Malaysia, saw India defeat team Japan 3-2 in a heart-pounding semifinal. The finals will be played against Thailand on February 18.


A Run Down Of The Badminton Asia Team Championship Semifinals

Returning from a four-month hiatus, World No. 11 Sindhu possessed top form against China’s Han Yue and Hong Kong’s Lo Sin Yan Happy, however, failed to defeat World No.14 Aya Ohori, going down 13-21, 20-22 in the first singles to peg India back.

Up next were the World No. 23 pair of Gopichand and Treesa, who smashed Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida 21-17, 16-21, 22-20 to level the semi-final tie at 1-1. Then came World No. 53 champion Ashmita Chaliha, who defeated former World No. 1 Nozomi Okuhara 21-17, 21-14 in 43 minutes, putting India in a 2-1 lead.

The stakes were high as 17-year-old national champion Anmol Kharb stepped into the court. The World No. 472 put up a great fight against World No. 29 Natsuki Nidaira 21-14, 21-18 in 52 minutes. The teenager from Haryana was trailing 1-4 in the second game, but quickly took the lead and never allowed her higher-ranked opponent to settle into the contest even at the change of ends.

Anmol Kharb is ranked World No. 1 in the Under-19 Badminton Association of India rankings. She picked up badminton at the age of 9 and her father is a former Kabaddi player from Haryana. She is a trainee of ace coach Pullela Gopichand and a huge admirer of Saina Nehwal

India is now bracing for their first-ever gold in the continental Badminton Asia Team Championship. The team will face Thailand, who defeated Indonesia 3-1 in the semi-finals on February 17. India had won two bronze medals in the men’s team event in the 2016 and 2020 editions.

pv sindhu Badminton Asia Championships Ashmita Chaliha Gayatri Gopichand anmol kharb jolly treesa Women's Badminton Team