The experienced Indian pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were eliminated from the women's doubles at the Rio Olympics after losing their second successive Group A match on Friday.
In a rollercoaster game against the Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek, Jwala and Ashwini went down 16-21, 21-16, 17-21 in 48 minutes.
Lying second from the bottom in the group standings, Jwala-Ashwini will have just pride to play for when they take on Indonesia’s Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in their final group clash.
The Indonesians are also without a victory so far and are lying at the bottom of the heap.
The Indians, who were distinctly mediocre in their loss to Japan, gave a better account of themselves in their second outing, but lost the opening game in just 19 minutes.
However, they fought back and did well to take the second, thanks to the former’s impressive showing at the net.
In the decider, Ashwini proved to be the weak link in the Indian team and Muskens-Piek did not waste any opportunity to attack her to clinch the issue.
Later in the day, the Indian men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy were beaten by China's Biao Chai and Wei Hong 13-21, 15-21 and suffered their second defeat in the group, having lost to the Indonesian duo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan on Thursday.
IMAGE: Jwala Gutta, front, and Ashwini Poonappa in action against the Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in the women’s doubles at the Rio Olympics on Friday. They end their Olympics campaign on Saturday with a match against the Japanese duo of Endo Hiroyuki and Hayakawa Kenichi.
Photograph: Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters