Thailand Open 2024: Sathish Karunakaran-Aadya Variath enter pre-quarterfinals

Olympics Day 1 - Badminton
Olympic Games Day 1 - Badminton

The Thailand Open 2024 kicked off in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 14. The qualifying rounds comprised most of the matches of the opening day. The mixed doubles main draw matches also commenced in the latter half of the day.

India’s highest-ranked mixed doubles pair of Sathish Karunakaran and Aadya Variath stole the spotlight on the opening day. Ranked 42nd in the world, Karunakaran and Variath have climbed exponentially in the rankings in the last few months.

In their first-round match, the duo faced off against the Thai pair of Tanakorn Meechai and Fungfa Korpthammakit. Karunakaran and Variath played some incredible badminton and comfortably secured victory in straight games by 21-17, 21-16.

However, India’s other mixed doubles pair, B. Sumeeth Reddy and Sikki Reddy went down in their round-of-32 encounter. Sumeeth Reddy and Sikki Reddy lost to the second seeds and the World No. 15 duo of Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Mentari.

Despite putting up a fight, the Indian pair were beaten in straight games in a match that lasted just over half an hour. The final score of the match was 12-21, 16-21 in favor of the Indonesians.

Sathish Karunakaran and Aadya Variath will now take on Sumeeth Reddy and Sikki Reddy’s opponents, Rivaldy and Mentari, in the pre-quarterfinals.

Meiraba Luwang Maisnam only Indian to make it through to the main draw of the Thailand Open 2024

India had several shuttlers vying for a spot in the main draw of the Super 500 event. However, Maisnam Meiraba was the only Indian who managed to make it past the qualifying rounds.

In his first-round match, he beat fellow Indian Shashwat Dalal in a thrilling three-set battle. After going down in the first set, Meiraba made a comeback and eventually won 15-21, 21-14, 21-16. He went on to beat Malaysia’s Kok Jing Hong 21-19, 21-9 in the last round of qualifying to secure his place in the main draw. He will now face HS Prannoy in the round of 32.

The other Indian men’s singles shuttlers in the qualifying rounds all suffered defeats. Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian and Kartikey Gulshan Kumar went down in the first round, while Ravi and Ayush Shetty, who won their first-round matches, ultimately lost in the final round of qualifying.

India had only one representative each in the women’s singles and men’s doubles qualifying rounds. India’s Nikki Rapria went down 8-21, 7-21, to Hong Kong’s Saloni Samirbhai Mehta in the first round of the women’s singles category, while Vimalraj Annadurai and Mauryan Kathiravan lost to Malaysia’s Beh Chun Meng and Goh Boon Zhe 4-21, 8-21 in the first round of the men’s doubles category.

India's star shuttlers, including the likes of HS Prannoy and the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, will be seen in action on May 15.

Edited by S Chowdhury
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