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

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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