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Asian Championships: Kashyap, Sindhu enter second round

Dev Sukumar
EXPERT COLUMNIST
News
964   //    17 Apr 2013, 17:36 IST

BADMINTON-GBR-CHN-IND-CHEN-PARUPALLU

Parupalli Kashyap pulled off a tight three-game win in the first round of the Badminton Asia Championships on a day of mixed fortunes for India.

Kashyap’s compatriots in the singles department, Sai Praneeth and PV Sindhu, too entered the second round, but the doubles teams did not have a memorable day.

Kashyap split the first two games with Korea’s Hong Ji Hoon, and had to fight hard to confirm his place in the next round. Although he led 19-16 at one point, Hong refused to let go, and equalised at 19. The Korean saved one match point before falling on the  second, enabling Kashyap to win 18-21 21-15 22-20.

Sai Praneeth was untroubled by Mohd Ajfan Rasheed and got past him in just 22 minutes, 21-10 21-12, while Sindhu earned an impressive win over Hong Kong’s Tsz Ka Chan. The Indian took the first game comfortably at 21-18, but the second was a neck-and-neck affair until 13, after which Sindhu slowly pulled ahead. Although she had five match points at 20-15, the Hong Kong player kept closing in, winning four points on the trot before the Indian finally sealed victory.

Among the Indian casualties on the day were Tarun Kona/Ashwini Ponnappa, Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan and Akshay Dewalkar/Pradnya Gadre (mixed doubles), Aparna Balan/Sikki Reddy (women’s doubles), Pranaav Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar, Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy, and Tarun Kona/Arun Vishnu (men’s doubles).

However, Pradnya Gadre/Ashwini Ponnappa managed to beat Chinese Taipei pair Wang Pei Rong/Wen Kuo Yu in a match that was the closest-fought on the day. The Indians won the first game comfortably, 21-12, but had to survive a dogfight in the second. From 14-all onwards, neither team managed a two-point lead. The Indians had seven match points, while the Taipei pair had two game points, and it was eventually the Indians who scratched through, 30-29.

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Dev Sukumar
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Dev S Sukumar is the recipient of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Media Award, 2011. He is India's most widely travelled badminton writer, having covered several international tournaments, including the Olympics, the Asian Games, the CWG Games, World Championships, the All England, the Denmark Open, the Malaysia Open, etc. He has covered badminton for over ten years now. During this period he has met fascinating characters, witnessed great matches, and has authored a biography of Indian badminton great Prakash Padukone. He has written on the game for several publications, including Sports Illustrated, Mint, Badminton Asia magazine, The New Indian Express, Hindustan Times, DNA and IANS. He tweets at twitter.com/shuttlemania
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