Sport

Saina first woman to reach World Championships quarterfinals for 8th straight time

Sindhu, Praneeth also enter quarterfinals; Srikanth loses.

Nanjing (China): Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu sailed into the women’s singles quarterfinals with straight-game wins but it was curtains for Kidambi Srikanth at the BWF Badminton World Championships here on Thursday.

Saina, who had clinched a silver and a bronze at the 2015 and 2017 editions, downed 2013 champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand 21-16 21-19 to set up a meeting with Olympic champion and two-time world champion, Carolina Marin of Spain. With the win, she also became the first woman to enter eighth consecutive quarterfinals in the event.

Later in the day, last edition’s silver medallist Sindhu, seeded third, eased past ninth seed Ji Hyun Sung of Korea 21-10 21-18 in another third round clash. Sindhu will next play eight seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, a rival against whom she lost in the summit clash of the tournament last year.

Sai to meet Momota 

B Sai Praneeth also eased into the men’s singles quarterfinals with a comfortable 21-13 21-11 win over Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus. He will next take on sixth seed Kento Momota. The Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa downed Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai 20-22 21-14 21-6.

However, fifth seed Srikanth lost 18-21 18-21 by the experienced Malaysian Daren Liew in a 41-minute clash.

Gopi sir played a big role – Second game was going my way, but suddenly she played some difficult strokes, she was everywhere and made it 19-19. At that point, Gopi sir played a big role. He told me what to do and I followed that and the game turned in my favour. -Saina Nehwal 

(With inputs from Agencies)

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