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Tough draw for women shuttlers

Tough draw for women shuttlers
Highlights

Indian womens team, led by Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu, will have to punch above its weight to salvage any hopes of a medal after being handed...

Jakarta: Indian women's team, led by Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu, will have to punch above its weight to salvage any hopes of a medal after being handed a tough draw in the badminton event at the 18th Asian Games.

Indian women's team, which won a bronze medal in the last edition at Incheon after finishing third, will face top seeds Japan in the quarterfinals after receiving a first-round bye. The team events begin on Sunday.

India are placed in the top half of the draw along with Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia and Japan, while China, Thailand and Chinese Taipei are placed in the bottom half.

Japan, who clinched the Uber Cup title this year, boasts of top singles players such as 2017 World Champion Nozomi Okuhara and world No 2 Akane Yamaguchi, besides current world no 1 and world no 2 pairs of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota and Misaki Matsutoma and Ayaka Takahashi respectively.

A depleted India, without the services of Sindhu and doubles specialist Ashwini Ponnappa, were outclassed 0-5 in the Uber Cup in May this year.

Though India will be fielding a full strength team this year, it would take an extraordinary effort to outwit the Japanese women's team, a result that would assure of a medal.

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