India into quarterfinals at Thomas Cup Asia Zone preliminaries


Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) : India qualified for the quarterfinals of the Thomas Cup Asia Zone preliminaries after thrashing Pakistan 5-0 in the opening Group C encounter of the world team badminton event here Wednesday.

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Japan joined India in the last eight round as they too beat Pakistan 5-0 Tuesday. They will clash to decide group winners as a win would put them against the runners-up of Group A where Malaysia and Chinese-Taipei will be battling out.

A semi-final berth here will take India to the World group to be played in Jakarta from May 11-18.

The Indian shuttlers showed their prowess as they outplayed their neighbours in all departments of the game and registered straight games victories.

In the opening singles, Anup Sridhar just took half an hour to down Wajid Ali in straight sets 21-16, 21-15. Then country’s no. 1 doubles duo of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas outclassed Rizwan Azam and Attique Muhammad 21-11, 21-9 in 20 minutes.

Arvind Bhat then came to the party to beat Umer Zeeshan 21-14, 21-11 in the second singles, while V. Diju and Akshay Dewalkar outplayed the pair of Waqas M. and Kashif Ahmad Sulehri 21-17, 21-14.

National Champion Chetan Anand rounded off the tie, beating Ahsan Qamar 21-10, 21-12 in a mere 16 minutes to give India a clean sweep.

India’s women’s team will open their campaign in the Uber Cup against Malaysia Thursday.