Badminton Asia Team Championships: Ashmita Chaliha & Co. Enter Maiden Final After Defeating Japan

World No. 23 pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, world No. 53 Ashmita Chaliha and the 17-year-old Anmol Kharb registered stunning victories in the first doubles and second and deciding singles to take India through to the summit clash. India will face Thailand in the final on Sunday for their first medal in the tournament.
Ashmita Chaliha

Badminton Asia Team C'ships: Indian women enter maiden final after beating Japan 3-2

Photo : Twitter
Indian women shuttlers' dream run continued as they progressed to their first-ever final at the Badminton Asia Team Championships after edging out two-time former champions Japan 3-2 in a thrilling semifinal in Shah Alam on Saturday.
World No. 23 pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, world No. 53 Ashmita Chaliha and the 17-year-old Anmol Kharb registered stunning wins in the first doubles and second and deciding singles to take India through to the summit clash.
India will face Thailand in the final on Sunday.
Though Japan were without their world No. 4 Akane Yamaguchi, world No. 7 pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota and world No. 8 combination of Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara, they were still a formidable side, making it a tough battle for India.
Returning from a long injury layoff, Sindhu had enjoyed wins against China's Han Yue and Hong Kong's Lo Sin Yan Happy but she couldn't produce her best against the left-handed Aya Ohori, going down 13-21, 20-22 in the first singles to peg India back.
Treesa and Gayatri, playing the first doubles, dished out a superlative performance to outwit world No. 6 Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida 21-17, 16-21, 22-20 in a 73-minute contest as India drew level at 1-1.
Up against former world champion Nozomi Okuhara, who is currently ranked world No. 20, the left-handed Ashmita produced an aggressive game, using her overhead cross drops and jump smashes to good use, to record a shocking 21-17, 21-14 win to hand India a 2-1 lead.
With Tanisha Crasto suffering a niggle, Sindhu then paired up with Ashwini Ponnappa but they couldn't get across the world No. 11 pair of Rena Miyaura and Ayako Sakuramoto, losing 14-21, 11-21 in 43 minutes.
With the five-match rubber evenly poised at 2-2, Anmol was handed the responsibility of taming world No. 29 Natsuki Nidaira and the Indian once again lived up to the expectation, claiming a 21-14, 21-18 win in 52 minutes.
"Our girls are doing magic, they were excellent today," former India coach Vimal Kumar, who is with the Indian team in Malaysia, told PTI.
"I will give a lot of credit to Gayatri and Treesa and also Ashmita for pulling out of the matches. It was an outstanding performance from Ashmita, she outclassed Okuhara, she raised her game to another level.
"Young girl Anmol also showed that we can depend on her going forward. When you do well in team championships, it shows they can handle pressure and I am really impressed with her. This is special moment for Indian badminton."
The final appearance keeps India's hopes of winning a first-ever gold in the continental championship. India had won two bronze medals in men's team event in the 2016 and 2020 editions.
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