India held off a strong challenge from Switzerland to keep their hopes alive in the Mixed Team event of the Universiade Gwangju 2015 that started today.
Thomas Heiniger/Sanya Herzig gave Switzerland the ideal start in their Group D clash. With India having lost the morning encounter to Thailand, they needed to beat Switzerland to remain in the contest. Herzig and Heiniger edged past Hema Nagendrababu/Meghana Jakkampudi 12-21 21-19 21-18 to send jitters in the Indian camp.
However, Shreyansh Jaiswal (featured image) restored parity by beating Christian Kirchmayr 21-18 21-9 (Men’s Singles) before Arjun Kumar Reddy/Hema Nagendrababu made it 2-1 in Men’s Doubles after a tight contest against Christoph Heiniger/Thomas Heiniger: 23-25 21-16 21-12.
Vaishnavi Bhale ensure the tie for India with a 21-14 21-14 result over Ayla Huser in Women’s Singles.
In the morning session, hosts Korea started their title defence of the Mixed Team event cruising past Uganda 5-0.
Placed in Group H with Uganda and Great Britain, the strong Korean team enjoyed a quick workout over their opponents. Mixed Doubles pair Ko Sung Hyun/Lee So Hee took 14 minutes to score the first win, over Herbert Ebayo/Daisy Nakalyango, 21-8 21-4. Jeon Hyeok Jin made it 2-0 with a 21-4 21-14 rout of Yakoub Musisi in Men’s Singles, before Kim Hyo Min (left) eased past Bridget Shamim Bangi 21-4 21-12 in Women’s Singles. Kim Ki Jung/Kim Sa Rang (Men’s Doubles) and Go Ah Ra/Yoo Hae Won (Women’s Doubles) helped the Koreans make it 5-0.
Other traditional badminton powers, like China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and Indonesia too recorded similar margins over their USA, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Finland and Hong Kong respectively. Following the group stage, the top teams will progress to the quarter-finals. The final is scheduled on Wednesday.
In the afternoon session, Great Britain also overcame Uganda 5-0 in Group H, setting up an interesting clash for the quarter-final place tomorrow.
Other ties saw USA crashing 0-5 to Poland; Estonia to Indonesia, Botswana to Canada, Hong Kong to Russia and Brazil to Finland, all by the same margin.
The 28th Summer Universiade, conducted by FISU (International University Sports Federation), is hosting over 9,000 student-athletes and officials from 170 countries, making it one of the largest multi-sport events in the world.
The four principal concepts of the Gwanju Universiade are encapsulated in the term ‘Epic’, in which E stands for Eco-Friendliness; P for Peace, I for IT and C for Culture.
Badminton is of the three optional sports in this event, but it will become a compulsory sport in the Summer Universiade from 2021.
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