Already through to the quarterfinals, the Indian men’s badminton team lost 1-4 to China in their last group match of the Thomas Cup in Denmark on Thursday, finishing the group in second place behind China, and setting up a quarterfinal against Denmark on Friday.
Only the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty managed a win against China as they beat He Ji Ting and Zhou Hao Dong 21-14 21-14 in a 41-minute contest. Earlier, Kidambi Srikanth began the day with a 12-21 16-21 loss to Shi Yu Qi in 36 minutes, before Sameer Verma lost against Lu Guang Ju 21-14 9-21 22-24.
The other doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila lost 24-26 19-21 to Liu Cheng and Wang Yi Lyu in 52 minutes before Kiran George lost to Li Shi Feng 15-21 17-21 in the 43-minute singles match.
The defeat against China was the first for the men’s team in the tournament. They had beaten the Netherlands 5-0 on Sunday before notching up a victory against Tahiti by an identical margin on Tuesday to qualify for the Thomas Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2010.
Meanwhile, the women’s team is out of the Uber Cup after losing to Japan in the quarterfinals.
Competing without top stars like PV Sindhu and hampered by the injury-forced ouster of Saina Nehwal, the Indian women were outplayed by their Japanese opponents, who claimed the tie by establishing a 3-0 advantage.
Malvika Bansod lost 12-21 17-21 in 34 minutes to world No. 5 Akane Yamaguchi in the first match. The pair of Tanisha Carsto and Rutaparna Panda then suffered an 8-21 10-21 defeat against Yuki Fukushima and Mayu Matsumoto as Japan took a 2-0 lead. Aditi Bhatt was then outplayed 16-21 7-21 in just 29 minutes in the second singles by Sayaka Takahashi as Japan sealed the best-of-five tie.