Korea Masters: Parupalli Kashyap goes down fighting in semi-finals
Indian badminton ace Parupalli Kashyap’s brilliant run at the $120,000 JEJU VICTOR 2016 Korea Masters Championships came to an end as the former World No. 6 bowed out in the semi-finals of this Grand Prix Gold event on Saturday. Kashyap faced the top seed and local hope Son Wan Ho in the last-four stage, who prevailed over the Indian, 23-21, 21-16 in 49 minutes.
The Commonwealth Games champion is on the comeback trail after losing a chunk of his season due to knee surgery. It had cost him a chance to play at the Rio Olympics in August and also triggered a slide in the rankings that sent him below the 100th mark.
Now placed at 95th, Kashyap is once again showing glimpses of that form which took him to the top 10 rankings. He notched up three wins at this event that included two upset victories over the fourth seed Wang Tzu Wei in the second round and sixth seed Jeon Hyeok Jin in the quarter-finals.
In the semi-finals, the World No. 6 Son Wan Ho proved an insurmountable barrier for the Indian after he lost a very close first game.
Kashyap was the only Indian playing at this tournament as most of his compatriots have wrapped up their 2016 season.
Ponnappa-Reddy exit Irish Open
The Indian campaign also came to an end at the Irish Open 2016 as the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy too crashed out in the semi-finals. Ponnappa and Reddy, who lost the Welsh International final last week, went down 17-21, 18-21 to the third-seeded Danish duo of Julie Finne-Ipsen and Rikke Soby in 36 minutes.
In their three tournaments together, Ponnappa and Reddy have reached at least the semi-finals in two which speaks volumes of their great chemistry.
The experienced Ponnappa was also playing in the mixed doubles section alongside K Nandagopal, brother of the India men’s singles No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth. Their run was cut short in the quarter-finals where they went down to the Dutch pair of Robin Tabeling and Cheryl Seinen, 13-21, 14-21 in 26 minutes.
Ponnappa and Nandagopal had earlier toppled the eighth seeds Alexander Bond and Ditte Soby in the first round.