Thais set sights on maiden Asian title

Thais set sights on maiden Asian title

Women's team tame Indonesia to face India in final

Commendable effort: Players and officials of the Thai women's team pose for photo after their semi-final victory.
Commendable effort: Players and officials of the Thai women's team pose for photo after their semi-final victory.

Thailand will vie for their first Asian women's team title as they take on India in the final of the 2024 continental badminton championships in Selangor, Malaysia, on Sunday.

Thailand defeated Indonesia 3-1 while India edged Japan 3-2 in the semi-finals at Setia City Convention Centre on Saturday.

World No.17 Supanida Katethong defeated Putri Kusuma Wardani 21-17, 21-19 in the opening singles match to give Thailand a 1-0 lead.

World No.10 pair Jongkolphan Kittitharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai made it 2-0 with a 22-20, 21-14 victory over Lanny Tria Mayasari and Ribka Sugiarto.

Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo revived Indonesia's hopes after she defeated Busanan Ongbamrungphan 25-23, 21-16 to cut the deficit to 2-1.

But Aimsaard sisters -- Benyapa and Nuntakarn -- put the tie beyond Indonesia's reach after they defeated Amallia Cahaya Pratiwi and Rachel Allessya Rose 24-22, 21-14 for a 3-1 victory.

Thai badminton chief Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul saluted the team's performance.

"I would like to congratulate the team, who have made history by reaching the final of the Asia Team Championships for the first time," said Patama.

"To beat Indonesia -- a powerhouse in the sport -- both in the SEA Games and Asian Games is a testament to the progress of the Thai women's badminton team," she added.

"I hope the Thai fans will give the team full support tomorrow in the final."

Thailand's previous best results at the championships were bronze-medal finishes in 2016 and 2020.

In the other semi-finals, India got their three victories from Ashmita Chaliha, who beat Nozomi Okuhara 21-17, 21-14; Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who overcame Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida 21-17, 16-21, 22-20 and Anmol Kharb, who denied Natsuki Nidaira 21-14, 21-18 in the deciding fifth rubber.

Aya Ohori stunned PV Sindhu 21-13, 22-20 in the opening singles while Rena Miyaura and Ayako Sakuramoto defeated Ashwini Ponnappa and Sindhu 21-14, 21-11 in the doubles to give Japan points.

The Thai men's team failed to advance from the group stage earlier in the week, finishing ninth overall in the 15-nation event.

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