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Fancied Srikanth, Prannoy suffer shock defeats in badminton singles event
Jakarta: Top Indian shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and H S Prannoy were knocked out of the 18th Asian Games after suffering shock defeats in the second round of the men’s singles competition here on Friday.
It was a disappointing end for India’s campaign in men’s singles as Srikanth and Prannoy failed to raise the bar after their early exits from the Nanjing World Championship early this month.
After Srikanth lost 21-23 19-21 to Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong in a 43-minute duel, Prannoy too followed suit going down 12-21 21-15 15-21 to Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in a 65-minute contest, much to the dismay of Indian fans.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, however, brought some cheers after reaching the quarterfinals with a thrilling 21-17 16-21 21-19 win over higher-ranked Malaysian combination of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean in women’s doubles.
However, the Indian duo will have to find a way to outwit their next opponents Chinese third seeds Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan on Saturday for a chance to win a medal.
Srikanth, a former world number one, who had clinched a silver at the Commonwealth Games besides leading the mixed team to the coveted gold, failed to outwit the 28th ranked Wong Wing Ki.
Srikanth came into the match with a 5-2 head-to-head record against Wong Wing Ki but it didn’t matter in the end as the Hong Kong shuttler proved to be a better player.
He put up a tough defence and produced more precise strokes to outwit the Indian.
Currently ranked eighth in the world, Srikanth had lost 21-23 22-20 10-21 to Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the men’s team event.
World No. 11 Prannoy too failed to produce his best as his dreams of a Asian Games medal ended after a narrow defeat.
After a reversal in the opening game, Prannoy managed to turn the tables winning the second game.
However, he couldn’t find a way to shut out his Thai rival in the decider that lasted 23 minutes.
P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will be in contention on Saturday in women’s singles.
World Championship silver medallist Sindhu will face local player Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, while CWG gold medallist Saina takes on Indonesia’s Fitriani. (PTI)