Monday, June 14, 2021

World Badminton Championships: Sindhu assured of fifth medal; Praneeth creates history

Basel, August 23: India’s PV Sindhu assured herself of a fifth medal at the BWF World Championships after reaching the semifinals with a come-from-behind win over Asian Games gold medallist Tai Tzu Ying of Chinse Taipei here on Friday.
Sindhu, who won back-to-back silver medals in the last two editions of the prestigious tournament to go with two bronze, edged past former world no 1 Tzu Ying 12-21 23-21 21-19 in a pulsating quarterfinals contest.
The 24-year-old, who is also an Olympic silver medallist, will take on the winner of the match between China’s Chen Yu Fei and Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the semifinal on Saturday.
Thirty six years after Prakash Padukone clinched bronze in 1983, Sai Praneeth Bhamidipati created history by becoming the first men’s singles shuttler from India to win a World Championships medal. World No.19 Praneeth drubbed world No.4 Jonathan Christie of Indonesia 24-22, 21-14.
A week after being chosen for the prestigious Arjuna Award, Praneeth rewarded Indian fans with a sensational performance at the Worlds as he waltzed into the semifinals. He will face world No.1 Kento Momota of Japan.
As Christie slammed the shuttle wide of the court, Praneeth jumped for joy and crashed on to the court to celebrate the biggest moment of his life. The 27-year-old kept his cool during testing times in the first game to prevail over his higher ranked opponent.
Pressed hard by Christie in the first game Praneeth had the last laugh by being patient and clinched the first game with jump smash. In the second he secured a 7-1 lead and gave no room for his opponent to comeback.
Saina Nehwal slams ‘bad umpiring’ at World Championships
Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal on Friday slammed the standard of umpiring in her BWF World Championships pre-quarterfinal loss to Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt, terming it “very sick”.
Her husband Parupalli Kashyap, who often sits by the courtside during her matches, also lashed out at the umpire following the narrow defeat.
“Still can’t believe 2 match points which the umpire overruled in the second game. And the umpire tells me in the mid of second game ‘let the line umpires do their job’ and I don’t understand suddenly how the umpire overruled the match points..very sick,” the London Olympic bronze medallist tweeted.
Saina, who had won a silver at the 2015 World Championships and a bronze in 2017, put up a gritty performance before losing 21-15 25-27 12-21 to Blichfeldt, seeded 12th, in the women’s singles match that lasted an hour and 12 minutes on Thursday.
There was no video referral in place for Saina’s match as it was not held in one of the two courts with live streaming facility.
“2 match-points snatched away by bad umpiring. And numerous wrong decisions,” Kashyap, a 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, wrote on his twitter handle.
“Unbelievable that there are no reviews on other courts at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. When will our sport get better ? SICK @bwfmedia @HSBCBWF @NSaina #feelingcheated #totalbwfworldchampionships2019.” (PTI)