Badminton Asia C’ships: PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy advance to R16; Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen exit

India’s PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the 2024 Badminton Asia Championships in Ningbo, China on Wednesday.

The double Olympic medallist was forced to work hard for her 64-minute 18-21, 21-14, 21-19 win by Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei.

The 28-year-old Sindhu endured some tense moments in the contest and even squadered a five-point lead in the decider to the world No 33, but kept her cool to register the first Indian win of the day at the Ningbo Olympic Sports Centre.

Having lost the first game, Sindhu came out determined and asserted her dominance in the second to force a decider. Smashes flowed from her racquet and the Goh was taken aback as the Indian upped the pace of the game.

Sindhu once again found herself struggling in third game, trailing before the change of ends. She, however, fought back to open up a comfortable lead before Goh forced a late comeback to pose a threat.

Sindhu will now face local star Han Yue in the Round of 16.

Prannoy wins

Prannoy, meanwhile, came from behind to defeat Lu Guang Zu of China in a thriller. The Indian, who has suffered four first round exits this year so far, prevailed 17-21, 23-21, 23-21 in a thriller.

Prannoy, bound for the 2024 Paris Olympics, was down 5-11 before the change of ends in the decider, but turned his fortunes around with some impeccable gameplay in the latter part of the match.

Earlier, Prannoy had also failed to convert five game points in the second game, but held his nerves to force a decider.

Prannoy, who is the seventh seed at the Badminton Asia Championships, will now face Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chun-Yi in the pre-quarterfinals.

Sen, Srikanth exit

Meanwhile, Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the men’s singles competition after suffering straight games losses in their respective matches.

Sen, who was up against the top seed Shi Yu Qi, surrendered 19-21, 15-21 to the Chinese star.

Srikanth, on the other hand, fell prey to Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting Sisuka 14-21, 13-21 later in the day.

Earlier in the day, the young Priyanshu Rajawat too was shown the exit door by Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia. The Indian lost 9-21, 13-21 to crash out in the opening round.

All the Indian doubles pair in action on Wednesday too suffered similar fates. The women’s doubles pair of Rutaparana Panda and Swetaparna Panda lost 8-21, 13-21 to China’s Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu.

The men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Sai Pratheek went down 14-21, 17-21 to the third seeds Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang, whereas Hariharan Amsakarunan and Ruban Rethinasabapathi lost 15-21, 14-21 to fourth seeds Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik.

The mixed doubles pair of Sathish Karunakaran and Aadya Variyath also bowed out following a 12-21, 13-21 loss to Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Yei Reginald and Ng Tsz Yau.

Meanwhile, the men’s doubles pair of Arjun MR and Dhruv Kapila put up a brave fight against seventh seeds Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi. The Indian duo suffered a heartbreaking 21-23, 21-19, 24-26 loss in a contest which lasted 75 minutes.

Paris hopes end for Treesa-Gayatri

The Indian women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, meanwhile, crashed out in the opening round against China’s Liu Sheng Shu and Tan Ning.

The Indian pair surrendered 2-21, 11-21 in just 38 minutes without a fight. The loss also brought an end to their hopes of qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Treesa and Gayatri, who had 44,964 points in the Race to Paris Olympics, needed to win the 2024 Badminton Asia Championships title in order to stand any chance of making it to the quadrennial event.

This also means that the other Indian women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto are now expected to qualify for the Paris Games when the official list is published on April 30.

Ponnappa and Crasto were handed a first round bye in Ningbo after their opponents withdrew from the competition and will now face third seeds Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida of Japan in the Round of 16 on Thursday.

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