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Sourabh fights through to main draw of the All England Badminton Championships

Dev Sukumar
06 Mar 2013, 10:37 IST

Sourabh Verma qualified for the main draw of the All England Open with two impressive victories in qualifying late last night.

Verma, a former national champion who suffered prolonged loss of form before turning it around, won a thriller in his first qualifying round against Brice Leverdez of France 22-20 23-21, before ousting England national champion Rajiv Ouseph 21-13 21-18. Verma takes on Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia in the first round.

However, his compatriots in the men’s singles weren’t so lucky. Anand Pawar fell in a close battle to Ouseph 20-22 23-21 21-7, while Guru Sai Dutt ran into Tanongsak of Thailand, 21-17 13-21 21-10.

Both Indian pairs in the men’s doubles qualifying round failed to progress to the main draw. Pranaav Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar won their first match against Adam Cwalina/P Wacha, but crashed out to Bodin Issara/Pakkawat Vilailak (Thailand) 21-14 21-10, who had earlier beaten Tarun Kona/Arun Vishnu 21-16 21-18.

Ashwini Ponnappa and Pradnya Gadre too failed to qualify in women’s doubles, falling to Lauren Smith/Gabrielle White 21-13 21-13.

The only Indians to come through qualifying, apart from Sourabh Verma, were Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre, who first beat Taipei’s Lu Chia Bin/Chang Ya Lan 21-12 21-13, before surviving a close contest against Lee Chun Hei/Choi Ho Wah (Hong Kong) 22-24 21-14 21-18.

In today’s action, PV Sindhu takes on Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand), while Saina Nehwal plays another Thai, Sapsiree Taerattanachai. Ajay Jayaram is up against Wang Zhengming of China; V Diju and Jwala Gutta face German pair Peter Kaesbauer/Isabel Herttrich, and Tarun Kona/Ashwini Ponnappa take on Fran Kurniawan/Shendy Puspa Irawati (Indonesia). P Kashyap will fancy his chances against Hao Jen Hsu (Taipei).

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