The Indian badminton team, led by Kidambi Srikanth, made a resounding start to its campaign at the 18th Asian Games, thrashing minnows Maldives 3-0 in the opening match of the team competition here today.
World No 8. Srikanth brushed aside Maldives' Hussein Zayan Shaheed Zaki 21-4 21-5 in 18 minutes to give India a 1-0 lead.
World No. 11 H S Prannoy then took 21 minutes to outclass Mohamed Sarim 21-8 21-6 and make it 2-0 in India's favour.
B Sai Praneeth, who had clinched the 2017 Singapore Open, then ended the challenge of Mohamed Ajfan Rasheed in just 22 minutes with a 21-7 21-8 demolition as India wrapped up the contest 3-0.
The Indian men's team will next face hosts Indonesia tomorrow in the quarterfinals.
Indonesia, who received a first-round bye, boasts of good players such as Jonathan Christie and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the singles, while their doubles line-up comprise World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and World No. 9 Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto.
The women's team, led by Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu, will play formidable Japan in the quarterfinals after receiving a bye in the opening round.
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