PV Sindhu in action at the CWG 2022.© AFP
Star Indian shuttlers, including P V Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, registered easy wins to storm into the quarterfinals of singles events at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday. Sindhu, a silver medallist at the 2018 edition, expectedly faced no resistance from Uganda’s Husina Kobugabe, winning 21-10 21-9 in her pre-quarterfinal match. Srikanth, who had also finished second best at Gold Coast, too didn’t break any sweat on his way to a 21-9 21-12 win over Sri Lanka’s Dumindu Abeywickrama in men’s singles.
Sen, a world championships bronze medallist, too advanced into the last eight with a 21-9 21-16 win over Australia’s Ying Xiang Lin, while Aakarshi Kashyap prevailed 21-2 21-7 over Cyprus’ Eva Kattirtzi to ease into the quarters.
Commonwealth Games silver medallists Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy also cantered to a 21-8 21-7 win over Pakistan’s Murad Ali and Muhammad Irfan Saeed Bhatti to seal their place in the men’s doubles quarterfinals.
Earlier, Indian women’s pairing of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly had entered the last eight with a 21-2 21-4 win over Mauritius’ Jemimah Leung For Sang and Ganesha Mungrah.
Double Olympic medallist Sindhu will face Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei in the next round for a place in the semifinals.
Sindhu had defeated Goh in two tight games in the final of the mixed team event and can ill-afford to lower her guard against the 22-year-old Malaysian, a winner of the World Junior Championships gold in 2015 and 2018.
Former world number one Srikanth will be up against England’s Toby Penty, who is ranked 54th in the world, while CWG debutants Sen and Kashyap will take on Paul Julien Georges of Mauritius and Scotland’s Kristy Gilmour respectively.
Gilmour is a silver and bronze medallist in 2014 and 2018 editions respectively.
World number 7 Satwik and Chirag is likely to be pitted against Australia’s Jacob Schueler and Nathan Tang, while Gayatri and Treesa will meet Jamaica’s Tahlia Richardson and Katherine Wynter.
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