Though India’s best known badminton player Saina Nehwal crashed out of the singles event, losing unexpectedly to a low ranked player, other Indian shuttles are quietly making progress and giving us Indians some cause for cheer. India’s P V Sindhu’s feints with the badminton racket on day 11 of the Rio Olympics keep her in the reckoning for that elusive Olympic medal for India.
For the quarter finals, P V Sindhu faced off with Wang Yihan of China who is currently World No 2. Displaying a great deal of aggression as well as great defence, 10th seeded Sindhu managed to beat the Chinese woman in straight games 22-20 and 21-19. Sindhu will meet the winner of the other quarter final, featuring Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguchi in Semis on 18th August. Sindhu has become the second player to reach the semis of the singles Olympic event. Before her, Saina Nehwal did this at the London Olympics.
Beating the higher seeded (fifth-seeded) Dane Jan Jorgensen, Srikanth also managed to keep India’s medal hopes alive by making it to the quarter finals. His straight sets win 21-19, 21-19 against the Dane will now bring him up against world no 3 Lin Dan who is a two time Olympic medal winner, and a five time world champ.
Though our much vaunted archers and shooters were not able to deliver, there could still be some hope from the wrestlers. Yogeshwar Dutt is a contender still. Having won a bronze at The London Olympics in 2012, this doughty contender has seen it all before and he will begin his campaign on Monday.
Narsingh Yadav is another medal possibility, but his participation is now in doubt. After the court battle involving Olympic medal winner Sushil Kumar, Yadav was in the eye of another storm; this time related to doping. Though he was cleared for participation by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) the world body WADA has filed an appeal against this.
He is the third wrestler from India and will begin his campaign on Thursday, 18th August.
Vinesh Phogat, Babita Kumari and Sakshi Malik open their campaign today evening. Let’s watch and cheer these determined, talented and strong young women today.
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