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World Badminton Championship: Prannoy, Satwik-Chirag in quarters

World Badminton Championship Prannoy SatwikChirag in quarters
Photo Credit : IANS

Copenhagen (Denmark): India had another mixed day at the BWF World Badminton Championship here on Thursday with singles player H.S Prannoy and men’s doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty reaching the quarters while the Lakshya Sen and women’s doubles combine of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand making their exit.

Prannoy, the hero of India’s triumph in the Thomas Cup last year, defeated the 2021 World Champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore 21-18, 15-21, 21-19 in a hard-fought encounter, the ninth-seeded Indian getting the better of his 7th ranked opponent in a 69-minute pre-quarterfinal encounter.

India’s top men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty too had to overcome a second-game slump to reach the last-eight stage, getting the better of the Indonesian pair of Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin, winning 21-15, 19-21, 21-9 in 61 minutes.

Hopes, however, ended for Lakshya Sen, the 2021 bronze medallist, as he went down to Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand. Lakshya put up a strong fight by winning the second game but could not ride the momentum in the decider and went down 14-21, 21-16, 13-21 to the Thailand player ranked third in the world.

The women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who had made their mark by winning a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, lost their pre-quarterfinal match to China’s top-seeded pair of Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan 14-21, 9-21 in just 42 minutes at Court 1 at the Royal Arena in the Denmark capital.

In their men’s singles pre-quarterfinals clash, Prannoy conceded an early lead in the first game before fighting back to level scores at 8-8. Loh took the lead again at 12-9 before the Indian shuttler equalised at 16-16 before surging to a 21-18 victory.

The trend continued in the second game and though Prannoy caught up with Loh at 13-13, the Singapore shuttler did not allow him more chances and grabbed the remaining points to win the second game 21-15.

Prannoy raced to a 4-0 lead in the decider and though Loh brought it down to 4-3, the 31-year-old World No.9 won consecutive points to open a 9-3 lead and extended it to 11-4. The 2021 World Champion Loh launched another comeback and reduced the gap to 11-10 but Prannoy won the next four points.

Loh won five consecutive points to take a 16-14 lead but Prannoy could not be denied on Thursday as he caught up with his opponent at 19-19 and went on to win the game and match and seal a place in the quarterfinals.

In the men’s doubles pre-quarterfinals, Satwik and Chirag took control from 12-10 in the first game and surged to a 17-11 lead. They went on to win the first game 21-15 to make a bright start in the match.

In the second game, after the lead changed hands a few times initially, the Indians led 8-5 and then extended it to 11-8 before the Indonesians came back strongly to level scores and take a 14-11 lead. Satwik and Chirag narrowed the gap in the neck-and-neck battle and levelled the scores at 17-17. The scores were tied again at 18-all and 19-19 before the Indonesians won two successive points to win the game 21-19.

In the decider, the Indian pair jumped to a 3-1 lead and though the Indonesians levelled scores at 4-4, Satwik and Chirag opened a two-point lead and from 7-6 won the five successive points to take a 12-6 lead. They maintained their advantage and went on to win the game 21-9 to win the match and now await the winner of the match between Denmark’s Anders Skaarup Rasmussen-Kim Ashtrup and Malayia’s seventh-seeded Yi Ee Teo and Yew Siri Ong.

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