The 37th edition of the Badminton Asia Championships kicked off on the 25th of this month. This is a major tournament in the International Badminton circuit and Indians of the likes of Saina Nehwal have managed to perform extremely well in this tournament in the past with her securing Bronze in the 2016 season.
This year India’s top ranked Badminton player, PV Sindhu has high hopes of winning a medal on account of her recent success in the India and Singapore Opens. In her first round of the championship today, Sindhu took down Indonesia’s Dinar Dyah Ayustin in straight sets 21-8 and 21-18 in just 31 minutes from the start at the Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium. She seems to be well on her way to convert her World No.3 ranking to No.1.
The former triumphant Saina Nehwal did seem to have a favourable day o court and last a long fought battle to Japan’s Sayaka Sato 21-19, 16-21 and 18-21. Winning the first round Saina looked pretty confident but could not prevent her defeat. Saina had a 6-1 head to head record against the Japanese but suffered a loss after a 68 minute match.
In another rather interesting match, India’s Ajay Jayaram defeated fifth seeded Chinese Tian Houwei scoring 21-18, 18-21, 21-19. The last few games were as nail-biting as you might have never seen. Coming into the tournament with his career best ranking of No.13 in Men’s singles, he was determined to put up a gladiator’s grit. Before the match he had exclaimed “I have a tough first round against Tian. The goal as of now is to get past that first hurdle.”
The fate of the Indian Doubles however was not as fulfilling. The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 15-21, 21-14, 16-21 against Chinese top seeds Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen in the opening round. Their efforts were still commendable after their fight back for the second set. Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki lost out in the women’s doubles category 20-22, 16-21 against South Koreans Chae Yoo Jung and Kim So Yeong. Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also could not progress in the Men’s doubles after their defeat against Chinese fifth seeded Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan 21-9, 21-18.