Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Badminton Worlds: Sindhu starts with facile win; Lakshya, Srikanth too progress

Sindhu 1

Huelva (Spain), December 14: Defending champion PV Sindhu breezed past Slovakia’s Martina Repiska 21-7 21-9 to make a resounding start in the BWF World Championship here on Tuesday.
The fast-rising Lakshya Sen prevailed over 15th seeded Japanese Kenta Nishimoto 22-20 15-21 21-18 to progress to the pre-quarterfinals along with Kidambi Srikanth rallied to defeat Chinese Li Shi Feng 15-21 21-18 21-17.
The 12th seeded Indian’s match lasted one hour and nine minutes.
In the men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan 27-25 21-17 in 43 minutes.
World number seven Sindhu took just 24 minutes to beat the unseeded at opponent court number 3 of Palacio de los Deportes Carolina Mar n Stadium here.
Seeded sixth in the tournament which she won in 2019 — when it was last held — the two-time Olympic-medallist began on a rousing note and raced to a 4-1 lead with her fine play.
Repiska tried to make a comeback with two points, but the fancied Indian did not let her go ahead, leading 11-4 at the mid-break.
She continued her dominance and kept accumulating points to widen the lead, eventually pocketing the first game in only 10 minutes.
The script remained the same in the second game as well, with Sindhu maintaining her firm grip over the proceedings to race to a 6-0 lead in just two minutes.
At midpoint, Sindhu was leading 11-1 and she completed the formality with a dominant performance.
Sen was made to toil hard for his victory by the Japanese as he took one hour and 22 minutes to emerge winner.
However, the mixed doubles pairing of Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh suffered a straight game defeat to Malaysians Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing, going down 21-8 21-18. (PTI)