Indian shuttlers had an electrifying start to their campaign in the badminton championship at the Asian Games 2023, with HS Prannoy, PV Sindhu, and Kidambi Srikanth making their way into the singles pre-quarterfinals with straight-game victories over their respective opponents.
The women’s doubles pairs of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand and Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa also clinched victories to make their way to the next round.
A closer look at the results:
World No. 7, HS Prannoy, had been sidelined due to a back injury, causing him to miss the men's team championships final against China. However, he made a triumphant return to the court, displaying a performance that saw him outclass Mongolia's Batdavaa Munkhbat with a scoreline of 21-9, 21-12 in mere 25 minutes. Prannoy will now face Kazakhstan's Dmitriy Panarin in the pre-quarterfinal.
Kidambi Srikanth defeated Korea's Lee Yun Gyu with a score of 21-16, 21-11, also securing his spot in the pre-quarterfinals. Srikanth's smashes and solid defense proved too much for his opponent. The former World No. 1 will now face Japan's second seed, Kodai Naruka.
Former world champion PV Sindhu demonstrated her class with a convincing victory over World No. 21 We Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei, with a scoreline of 21-10, 21-15. She is now set to face Indonesia's Putri Kusuma Wardani in the next round.
While the Indian contingent celebrated the successes of Prannoy, Sindhu, and Srikanth, it was a tough day for youngster Ashmita Chaliha, who faced a challenge from Indonesia's World No. 7, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. Despite playing some brilliant badminton, Ashmita ultimately lost with a score of 17-21, 16-21.
The Indian pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, ranked 17th in the world, made a promising start by defeating Aminath Nabeeha Abdul Razzaq and Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq of Maldives with a score of 21-14, 21-12. They will now take on the third-seeded Korean combination of Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong in the next round.
In the other women's doubles match, Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa, who clinched their first International Challenge title in France earlier in the year, advanced to the second round after their Maldives opponents, Maisa Fathuhulla Ismail and Aishath Afnaan Rasheed, retired with a score of 2-21, 2-12. The Indian duo will face a tough challenge next against China's Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu.
India will also witness Krishna Prasad and Tanisha Crasto in action in the mixed doubles event, while Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will take the court in the men’s doubles event on October 4.