Mixed day for Indian shuttlers at Olympics

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 11 (IANS) Women singles shuttlers raised Indian hopes as both Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu won their opening matchs, while both the Indian pairs faced defeats in the Rio Olympics here on Thursday.

London Games bronze medallist Saina beat local hope Vicente Lohaynny 21-17, 21-17. Saina got a tough competition from the Brazilian shuttler.

In the first game, the 20-year-old local hope fought neck-to-neck with the former world No. 1. At 17-17 level, Saina took four points on the trot and clinched the first game 21-17 in a well-battled 20 minutes.

In the second game, Saina started to build her dominance in the court taking a 11-5 lead to the mid-game interval, continued to dominate the rallies in the later half securing seven match points before grabbing the match 21-17.

Saina will be playing her next match on Monday against Maria Ulitina of Ukraine.

Sindhu thrashed Hungarian Laura Sarosi 21-8, 21-9 in a commanding way. The World No.10 took just 27 minutes to wrap up the match against the No.64.

Sindhu didn’t give her opponent any chance to battle for victory, she completely dominated both the games. Hungarian could not handle the fast play and the accurate smashes of the Indian shuttler.

Sindhu will be playing her next match on Monday against Michelle Li of Canada.

However, the disappointment came from the doubles as both the pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnapa and Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy lost their women’s doubles and men’s doubles opening matches respectively.

Jwala and Ashwini lost their opening Group match against the top seeds Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo of Japan in straight games 15-21, 10-21 in 36 minutes.

There were few glimpses of the pair’s experience play with a neck-to-neck competition in the early stages of the first game, before they started giving away some loose points to the top ranked pair in the world.

In the second game, the world No.1 pair of Takahashi and Matsutomo completely dominated the court with attacking play, leading 15-7 and finally thrashing the Indian pair 21-10 in 17 minutes.

Jwala and Ashwini will be playing their next match on Friday against the Netherlands pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek.

Later, Manu and Summeth lost to the second seeded pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 18-21, 13-21.

The former World No.1 Indonesian pairing dominated the proceedings from the opening game, but the Indian pair fought back from being 9-13 down to 14-13 before the Indonesians used their experience to finish the game 21-18 in 18 minutes.

In the second game, the Indonesians were again at their attacking best leading from five points at the half-game interval. In the latter half of the game, Ahsan and Setiawan made life difficult for the Indian duo as they went on to clinch it 21-13 in barely 14 minutes,

The Indian men’s doubles duo will face playing their next match on Friday against the Chinese pairing of Chai Biao and Hong Wei

Later, this evening former world No. 3 Kidambi Srikanth will be facing Lino Munoz of Mexico, here at the fourth pavilion of Riocentro.



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