Gwangju (Korea): India stave off a strong challenge from Switzerland to keep their hopes alive in the Mixed Team event of the Universiade Gwanju 2015 that got underway here on Monday.
India were pushed to backfoot early in the day after they lost their match against Thailand 0-5 and needed to beat Switzerland to stay alive in the contest. Mixed doubles pair of Thomas Heiniger and Sanya Herzig gave Switzerland the ideal start with a 12-21 21-19 21-18 win over Hema Nagendrababu and Meghana Jakkampudi in their Group D clash at the Hwasun Hanium Culture Sports Center Finals Court.
However, Shreyansh Jaiswal restored parity by beating Christian Kirchmayr 21-18 21-9 in the men's singles contest, before Arjun Kumar Reddy and Hema Nagendrababu notched up a 23-25 21-16 21-12 win against Christoph Heiniger and Thomas Heiniger in men's doubles to make it 2-1 in India's favour.
Vaishnavi Bhale then dashed all Swiss hopes with a 21-14 21-14 result over Ayla Huser in women's Singles, while Kukkapalli Manee and Jakkampudi Meghana completed the formalities with a 21-17 21-17 win in the women's doubles to seal the tie against Switzerland 4-1.
In the morning session, hosts Korea started their title defence of the Mixed Team event cruising past Uganda 5-0 in Group H which also has Great Britain. Other traditional badminton powers like China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and Indonesia too recorded similar wins over 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.