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India beaten by China, out of Sudirman Cup badminton tourney

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Nanning: India crashed out of the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championships after losing 0-5 to China in the second and final Group -1D match at Nanning in China today.

India’s mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost to Chinese combination of Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping 5-21 11-21 to trail 0-1.

Sameer Verma, who took the court after Kidambi Srikanth suffered a minor injury during practice sessions, lost to Olympic champion Chen Long 17-21 20-22 in the men’s singles as India slumped to 0-2 deficit.

The pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty was beaten by the world no 7 duo of Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong 21-18 15-21 17-21 in the men’s doubles to draw curtains to India’s campaign.

Saina Nehwal then went down 12-21 17-21 to All England Champion Chen Yufei in women’s singles match, while World no 3 women’s doubles pair of Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan beat Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki 21-12 21-15.

India had lost to Malaysia, 2-3 in their opening Group-1D match on Tuesday. India have never won a medal in the tournament. It reached the quarterfinals in 2011 and 2017.

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Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei retires after cancer battle

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Lee Chong Wei is a former World No. 1.

Putrajaya (Malaysia): Ace Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong Wei on Thursday announced his retirement after waging a battle with nose cancer. With this, his 19-year long illustrious career also came to a halt.

Lee, 36, was keen to return to the court post treatment. The shuttler, who spent a total of 348 weeks as world number one announced his retirement in a teary-eyed press conference.

“My decision to retire is a heavy one. I really love this sport. But it is a demanding sport,” Lee told mediapersons. He further said that he would now like to rest and spend time with his family, and even take his wife on a ‘honeymoon’.

A father of two, Lee was diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer last year and had received intensive treatment in Taiwan.

“I have no regrets. More important is my health, the decision to retire is very tough,” said Lee.

Lee also informed that his cancer treatment was now over. “My plan to retire was originally after the Olympic Games. I made this decision due to my health,” he explained.

Terming Lee as a ‘legend’, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Chief Norza Zakaria, who was also present at the presser, said: “It is a sad day. Lee is a legend and very dependable. We accept his decision.”

Earlier in 2018, Lee had bagged gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast (Australia). He has won 69 international titles and is a three-time Olympic silver medallist.

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Sindhu, Praneeth crash out of Australian Open

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PV Sindhu went down in 50 minutes.

Sydney: Star Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu got knocked out of the ongoing $150,000 Australian Open World Tour Super 300 tournament after suffering a defeat to Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol in the second round on Thursday.

Sindhu, who had defeated Indonesia’s Choirunnisa in the opening round, lost 19-21, 18-21 to Jindapol in a match that lasted for around 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles, sixth-seeded Sameer Verma also bowed out of the competition after suffering a 16-21, 21-7, 13-21 defeat in the second round against Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei.

B. Sai Praneeth, who had reached the finals of the Swiss Open this year, also lost his second-round match to Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 23-25, 9-21.

In men’s doubles, the Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also exited the tournament getting beaten by Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen 19-21, 18-21.

H.S. Prannoy and women’s doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy had also crashed out of the tournament after losing their respective first-round matches on Wednesday.

The mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy had also gone down fighting against Wang Chi-Lin and and Cheng Chi Ya of Chinese Taipei 17-21, 21-12, 16-21.

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Indian shuttlers target podium spots in Sudirman Cup

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Nanning (China): Top shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will spearhead the Indian challenge at the prestigious Sudirman Cup which gets underway here on Sunday.

India, who reached the quarterfinals twice in 2011 and 2017, will continue their hunt for an elusive medal in the mixed team championship.

Placed in Group 1D, India will have to beat the mighty China and 2009 semifinalist Malaysia to qualify from the group.

For that to happen, the likes of reigning BWF World Tour Finals winner Sindhu, 2019 Indonesia Masters champion Nehwal, 2019 India Open finalist Kidambi Srikanth and BWF World Tour Finals semifinalist Sameer Verma will have to come good.

As a team, India, seeded eighth this time, did beat Malaysia enroute an unprecedented team gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. The 13-member contingent will also have an advantage, as former World No. 1 Malaysian Lee Chong Wei is not taking part in the tournament this time.

Malaysia will rest their hopes on Lee Zii Jia in the men’s singles while Goh Jin Wei or Soniia Cheah will lead the charge in the women’s singles.

In the last edition, India stunned 1989 winners Indonesia on their way to the quarter-final where they lost to eventual runners-up China.

India will take on Malaysia on Monday before locking horns with 10-time champions China the next day.

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