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Badminton Asia Team Championships: Indian women's team creates history by confirming place in the final for the first time

World number 23 pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand won the first doubles, world number 53 Ashmita Chaliha won the second singles and 17-year-old Anmol Kharb won the deciding singles to take India to the title clash.

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Payal Debnath
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Badminton Asia Team Championships: Indian women's team creates history by confirming place in the final for the first time

Indian women edge out Japan to qualify for maiden Badminton Asia Team Championships final. Image- OTTPlay

The Indian women's team continued its dream journey by defeating two-time former champions Japan 3-2 in a thrilling semi-final and entered the final of the Badminton Asia Team Championships for the first time on Saturday.

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Indian women edge out Japan to qualify for maiden final
Indian women edge out Japan to qualify for maiden final

World number 23 pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand won the first doubles, world number 53 Ashmita Chaliha won the second singles and 17-year-old Anmol Kharb won the deciding singles to take India to the Badminton Asia Team Championships title clash where they will face Thailand on Sunday.

The Indian women's team had defeated Hong Kong 3-0 in the quarter-finals on Friday. The team entered the top-4 for the first time. With this, the women's team secured a medal in the Badminton Asia Team Championships for the first time.

PV Sindhu, who was returning after a long time due to injury, however, could not register a win against Aya Ohori in the first singles and lost 13-21, 20-22. Treesa and Gayatri performed brilliantly in the first doubles and brought India to 1-1 with a 21-17, 16-21, 22-20 win over world number six pair of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida in 73 minutes.

After that, Ashmita showed an aggressive game against former world champion Nozomi Okuhara (ranked 20th). The Indian used his cross shots and smashes brilliantly to take India 2-1 ahead with a 21-17, 21-14 upset win.

With Tanisha Crasto injured, PV Sindhu paired with Ashwini Ponnappa but could not overcome the hurdle of world number 11 pair of Rena Miyaura and Ayako Sakuramoto and lost 14-21 11-21 in 43 minutes. Now both the teams were tied at 2-2.

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Anmol Kharb was given the responsibility of defeating the world's 29th player Natsuki Nidaira and she lived up to the expectations by winning 21-14, 21-18 in 52 minutes, taking India to the final for the first time. India will now try to win its first gold medal in this continental Badminton Asia Team Championships. India had won two bronze medals in the men's team event in the 2016 and 2020 editions.

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