What’s the story?
Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma clinched victories at the Barcelona Spain Masters in the women’s singles and men’s singles, respectively. Kidambi Srikanth, on the other hand lost against fellow Indian Ajay Jayaram, which makes his hopes for qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics bleak and dismal.
In case you did not know
Saina Nehwal, the first Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal (bronze in London 2012) , is also the recipient of two singles gold medals at the Commonwealth Games of 2010 and 2018.
The heart of the matter
Former world no. 1, Saina Nehwal defeated Ukraine’s Maria Ulitina 21-10, 21-19 in the second round of the Barcelona Spain Masters, to storm her way into the quarter-finals of the women’s singles on Thursday. Nehwal, who has represented India three times in the Olympics, is now hopeful of making her fourth Olympic appearance.
Sameer Verma, on the other hand recorded a 21-14, 16-21, 21-15 win against the German player Kai Schaefer. However, Kidambi Srikanth’s poor form continued as he lost the match 6-21, 17-21 against fellow Indian Ajay Jayaram, which thwarted his hope for playing at the Tokyo Olympics.
Saina Nehwal is now all set to compete against Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who has had the better of her in the last two matches.
Srikanth, who was exited in the first rounds in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, will have a hard time in his quest to secure a berth for the Tokyo Olympics. He needs to perform consistently and win a tournament or lead his way into the quarter-finals or semi-finals to be eligible to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.