Debutant Nithya Sre didn’t shy to admit that she felt the jitters ahead of playing her first match at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2022, that got underway in Tokyo on Monday.
Sre paired with Paralympic champion and Basel 2019 bronze medallist Krishna Nagar to pull off an easy 21-8, 21-9 win over Egypt’s Yasmina Eissa and Ivan Segura Escobar of Spain in a Group A mixed doubles SH6 match.
The 17-year-old Sre later took just 15 minutes to win 21-4, 21-4 over Lam Ching Yung of Hong Kong in her opening Group B women’s singles SH6 game.
“I was very excited to be here. It’s a proud moment for me. The first match, I was a little nervous in the initial points but then it was okay. The shuttle and racquet co-ordination was going well. I also adjusted the control of the shuttler. So, it was a good start,” said the promising star, who rose to world no. 2 rank with five title wins this year.
Nithya already has set her goals at the event, to win three gold medals. “I will do my best to achieve it.”
Easy opening day
Another promising star Manisha Ramadass also made her World Championships debut on the day and was confident of making it to the finals after an easy 21-10, 21-5 win over Spain’s Cristina Sandhez De Lechina Tejada in her women’s SU5 match.
Among the top names, five-time world champion and top seed here Pramod Bhagat, Manoj Sarkar, Suhas Yathiraj and Nitesh Kumar all had easy matches and look ahead to competitive matches in the next few days.
In other women’s matches, world no. 1 and defending champion Manasi Joshi, Parul Parmar and Mandeep Kaur also had a comfortable opening day.
Nagar stretched to limit.
However, Paralympic champion Nagar was stretched to the limit by USA’s Miles Krajewski before he fought back from a game down to win 17-21, 21-16, 21-17 in his men’s singles SH6 Group D game.
Nagar later admitted that his opponent had immensely improved his game in the past few months. “He (Miles) has a different game now; he looks more powerful and has variety in his strokes. It’s nice to see that the competition is growing. I feel I must work harder now,” added Nagar, who returned to competition after eight months.
A total of 298 players will vie for honours in 22 events this week with the group matches at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2022 to continue Wednesday. The finals will be played on Sunday (Nov. 6).