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India shuttlers enter semis
March 19, 2006 11:27 IST
Indian shuttlers came up with a stellar performance to upset Singapore to storm into semifinals of the mixed team badmiton event at the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on Sunday.
India will next challenge top seeds England, who beat Canada 3-1 to reach the last four stage.
India, who had defeated Singapore in their Thomas Cup qualifying encounter last month, repeated their act in drubbing the third seeds to keep their medal hopes alive.
India started their semifinal campaign on a sour note as the mixed doubles duo of V Diju and Jwala Gutta went down to Hendri Kurniawan Saputra and Yujia Li 21-19, 16-21, 8-21.
But National champion Anup Sridhar brought back cheers as he overcame a loss in closely fought first game against Kendrick Hui Yen Lee and went on to seal the match in his favour. Sridhar kept his cool to unnerve Yen Lee 23-21, 21-19, 21-16 to restore parity.
Thereafter, promising starlet Saina Nehwal stunned everyone with a cakewalk victory over defending women's singles champion Li Li. The 16-year-old Indian badminton sensation showed no mercy on her rival as she took the courts with amazing confidence and blew away the Singaporean's challenge 21-15 21-14 to give a vital 2-1 lead to India.
Men's doubles duo of Rupesh Kumar and Thomas Sanave hammered the last nail into Singapore's coffin as they beat Susilo Ronald and Hendri Hendri Kurniawan Saputra 21-15 21-18 to cap a memorable win for India.