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India storm into Thomas Cup QF

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 02, 2006 10:11 IST
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Anup Sridhar upset world number 33 John Moody as India whitewashed New Zealand 3-0 to storm into the quarterfinals of the World badminton men's team championship for the Thomas Cup in Sendai on Monday.

India, missing its number one shuttler Chetan Anand due to injury, sealed the victory in an emphatic fashion with Sridhar, Arvind Bhat, and Nikhil Kanetkar winning the three singles matches in the five-match pre-quarterfinal tie.

The two inconsequential doubles matches were abandoned.

India now take on Denmark, who reached the last eight stage after topping group 'C', for a place in the quarterfinals to be played in Tokyo from Wednesday.

India's men booked a spot against European power Denmark but India coach Vimal Kumar said his side were unlikely to progress further.

"The odds are 70 percent for Denmark," he said. "But we have nothing to lose."

National champion Sridhar, ranked 64, provided a perfect start for India with a 21-15 21-9 mauling of Moody in the first singles in just 26 minutes.

Bhat then tamed new comer Henry Tam 21-17, 21-5 to give a 2-0 lead to India.

Kanetkar, who replaced Anand and was playing in his first match of the championship, faced stiff challenge from Craig Cooper but pushed his game one notch up in the final game for 21-13, 18-21, 21-10 victory in 40 minutes.

England beat South Africa 3-0 on Monday to set up a daunting midweek quarter-final against holders China at the Thomas Cup.

Andrew Smith, Nick Kidd and Rajiv Ouseph all posted comfortable wins as England swept into the last eight of the men's world team badminton championships.

Japan comfortably beat the United States 3-0 in the first knockout round but the hosts are unlikely to pose much threat to 13-times champions Indonesia in Wednesday's quarter-finals.

Indonesia, China, Denmark and Malaysia all received a first-round bye after winning their preliminary groups in Sendai.

In the women's Uber Cup, Singapore overpowered New Zealand 3-0 to earn the right to face defending champions and red-hot favourites China in the quarter-finals.

The Netherlands will play Japan after beating the U.S. 3-0 while Germany blanked South Africa to book a quarter-final with Hong Kong.

England suffered a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Taiwan and failed to advance to the next stage of the competition.

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