Kashyap, Sindhu advance in Badminton Asia Championships

Taipei, April 17 (IANS) Parupalli Kashyap and P.V. Sindhu led the Indian charge at the Badminton Asia Championships winning the opening rounds of their respective categories here at the Taipei Arena Wednesday.

Seeded fourth, Kashyap had a tough match against South Korean Ji Hoon Hong which went right down to the wire. The Indian, however, held on to his nerves to pick the last two points and win the match 18-21, 21-15, 22-20 in one hour and nine minutes. This was Kashyap’s second victory in as many outings against the World No.106 Korean, who had also lost the last match at the same tourney in 2009.

The World No.7 Hyderabadi will next face localite Chu Han Chou for the first time in the second round of men’s singles.

In the same category, B. Sai Praneeth eased past Mohamed Ajfan Rasheed of Maldives 21-10, 21-12 in 22 minutes. He next faces a huge task against Chinese sixth seed Wang Zhengming in their second ever match. Sai Praneeth will have to play out of his skin to advance against the World No.9, who beat the Indian last year in the same tourney.

Rising shuttler Sindhu also had an easy outing against Tsz Ka Chan of Hong Kong in the women’s singles first round, winning 21-18, 21-19 in 33 minutes in their second ever match. The last time Sindhu beat Chan was at the 2011 Tata Open India International Challenge in Mumbai.

The 17-year-old World No.16 will meet former World No.1 and third seed Shixian Wang of China in the second round.

Meanwhile, women’s doubles pairing of Pradnya Gadre and Ashwini Ponnappa also advanced to the second round by winning against local pair Pei Rong Wang and Kuo Yu Wen 21-12, 30-29 in 29 minutes. The second game went right down to the last possible point before the Indian duo clinched the game and match.

However, it was the end of the road for other Indian doubles pairs who lost their respective matches.

Though Ashwini advanced in women’s doubles, her mixed doubles campaign came to an end with partner Tarun Kona, who also lost his men’s doubles match with Arun Vishnu.

Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Akshay Dewalkar and Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy also lost their respective men’s doubles first round matches.

In women’s doubles, Aparna Balan and N. Siki Reddy could not proceed in Chinese Taipei and will have to try their luck next week at the India Open.

While in mixed doubles, Tarun-Ashwini, Akshay-Pradnya and Aparna-Vishnu also could not move to their next rounds.

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