Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth, Prannoy advance in Badminton Asia Championships

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Wuhan, April 25 (IANS) Star Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth registered contrasting victories in their respective opening round singles matches at the Badminton Asia Championships at the Wuhan Sports Centre here on Wednesday.

While Saina and Sindhu registered straight game victories over their respective rivals to enter the second round of women’s singles, Srikanth had to fight it out in his men’s singles opener.

World No.12 Saina, who recently clinched the gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, hardly lost sweat in thrashing Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min 21-12, 21-9.

Sindhu, who had lost to Saina in the CWG final to settle for the silver, defeated Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po 21-14, 21-19 in the women’s singles competition.

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Former World No 1 Saina will meet China’s Gao Fangjie, while Rio Olympics and world championship silver medallist Sindhu, seeded third, faces another Chinese Chen Xiaoxin next.

In the men’s singles, top seed and CWG silver medallist Srikanth eked out a come-from-behind 13-21, 21-16, 21-16 win over Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto to set up a clash with Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent.

B. Sai Praneeth also advanced to the second round after beating Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-13, 11-21, 21-19 while H.S. Prannoy defeated another Thai shutter Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-15, 19-21, 21-19 to proceed.

While World No.19 Sai Praneeth will be up against Chinese World No.3 Chen Long, Prannoy will meet Taiwan’s Wang Tzu-wei in the second round.

However, Sameer Verma’s fight against seventh seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei ended with a 21-23, 17-21 loss.

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The men’s doubles pair of Arjun M.R. and Ramchandran Shlok and women’s combo of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S. Ram too joined the singles stars in the second round after pulling off thrilling wins in the opening round.

Arjun and Ramchandran registered a hard-fought 25-23, 23-21 win against World championship quarterfinalists Chung Eui Seok and Kim Dukyoung of Korea, while Meghana and Poorvisha held their nerves in pressure situations to beat Singapore’s Ong Ren-Ne and Wong Jia Ying Crystal 14-21, 22-20, 21-17 in a women’s doubles encounter.

However, mixed doubles pair of Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh lost 17-21, 14-21 to South Korean combo of Kim Won Ho and Shin Seung Chan.

Another Indian pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan also crashed out after losing 11-21, 13-21 to Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah.

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–IANS

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