Asian Games: India Men’s Badminton team wins historic silver, lose to China in final
This is India’s first medal in a men’s team event in 37 years at the Asian Games. The last time the men’s team secured a medal during the 1986 Seoul edition.
Indian men’s badminton team bagged a historic silver medal at the Asian Games 2023. The 10-member team lost the gold medal match 2-3 to defending champions China, here on Sunday. This was India’s first-ever silver in a men’s team event in a prestigious continental meet.
Moreover, this was India’s first medal in a men’s team event in 37 years at the Asian Games. The last time the men’s team secured a medal at the Asian Games was during the 1986 Seoul edition. Icons such as Prakash Padukone and Syed Modi led the team, which included Vimal Kumar, Ravi Kunte, Uday Pawar, Sanat Mishra, and Leroy D’sa.
Heading into the final match against the defending champions, India felt the absence of top singles player H.S Prannoy. He was not fielded on Sunday because of an injury he picked in the semifinal win against South Korea on Saturday.
In the opening tie, Lakshya Sen beat world No. 6 Shi Yuqi 22-20, 14-21, 21-18. Then, world No. 3 in men’s doubles duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won 21-15, 21-18 against world no. 2 pair Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang to give India early 2-0 lead.
In the third game, Li Shifeng however beat former world No. 1 Srikanth 24-22, 21-9. In the next game of the tie, Dhruv Kapila and Sai Pratheek were no match to the Men’s pair of Liu Yuchen and Ou Xuanyi. The Chinese pair claimed a 21-6, 21-5 win to level 2-2.
In Prannoy’s absence. Mithun Manjunath played the fifth match and lost to China’s Hongyang Weng. This was India’s second-ever silver medal in Asian Games. Earlier, PV Sindhu was the only Indian to win silver at Jakarta 2018. India have now won 11 medals – two silver and nine bronze – in the sport at the continental meet.