Saina, Sindhu advance in Badminton Asia Championships

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Wuhan (China), April 27 (IANS) India’s Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu advanced to the second round, while Kidambi Srikanth and women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa crashed out of the Badminton Asia Championships here on Wednesday.

Fifth seed Saina moved past Group A qualifying winner Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia 21-16, 21-17 in 21 minutes. In the pre-quarterfinal, the 2015 World Championship runner-up will meet Thai Nitchapon Jindapol, who eased past Indonesian Lindaweni Fanetri 21-10, 21-18.

World No.8 Saina has a 6-0 lead in head-to-head records against world No.25 Nitchapon and will be heavily favoured to enter the quarter-finals.

Two-time World Championship bronze medallist Sindhu thrashed Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia 21-10, 21-13 in the first round.

Sindhu, who is in the top half of the draw, has now won the fourth consecutive encounter against world No.23 Kusumastuti, whose only victory was the first meet among the two.

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In her next match, the 21-year-old Hyderabadi Sindhu faces a strong challenger in eighth seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, who holds a 3-2 lead in head-to-head meetings.

World No.9 Tai disposed off South Korean Kim Hyo Min 21-12, 21-8 in 31 minutes at the Wuhan Sports Center.

India’s only men’s singles contender, Srikanth went down to Lee Dong Keun of South Korea 21-13, 12-21, 19-21 in an hour and 15 minutes. It was their maiden fight on the circuit.

The top three men’s singles seeds of Chen Long, Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei eased into the second round.

Also exiting the competition was the doubles pair of Jwala and Ashwini, who lost to Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee of South Korea 15-21, 11-21 in 37 minutes.

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India’s campaign also ended in the men’s doubles competition as Pranaay Jerry Chopra and Akshyay Dewalkar lost to Hong Kong’s Or Chin Chung and Tang Chun Man 19-21, 17-21. Another Indian pair, Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy crashed out against fifth seeded Japanese pair of Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa 15-21, 13-21 in 32 minutes.



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