Top Indian shuttlers shine in the initial leg of the Badminton World Championship
The Total BWF Badminton World Championship, which has kicked off yesterday in Nanjing, China, will see some of the world’s premier players go head to head with each other. Most of India’s heavyweights are also participating in this tournament, including Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth. While PV Sindhu is yet to play her opening game, both Nehwal and Srikanth have drawn first blood by winning their opening games.
Tenth seed in this Badminton World Championship, Saina Nehwal was up against Turk Aliye Demirbag, who is currently unseeded and ranks World no. 76. Although Aliye tried to play her best, Saina was in control of the game from the beginning to the end, handing the young Turk a decisive 21-17 and 21-8 defeat. In her next match, Saina will clash against Thai Ratchanok Intanon who is currently ranked World no. 4 and will prove to be a worthy opponent to Saina.
On the other hand, Kidambi Srikanth also thrashed unseeded shuttler Nhat Nguyen and proceeded to the second round. He defeated the Irish player 21-15 and 21-16 with relative ease in the first round of the Badminton World Championship. Like Saina, Srikanth too established his dominance from the very outset of the game, but Nguyen was determined to make a mark and won successive points to take a momentary lead, before Srikanth dissolved that lead and won the match. In the second game, Nhat came back stronger and managed to equalize every point up until the mid-game interval, after which Srikanth stepped up his game and clinched the match.
Yet another important win came for India in the mixed doubles category, when Indian pair Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won their first round match against German pair Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich 10-21, 21-17 and 21-18. After losing by a large margin in the first game, Ashwini and Satwiksairaj resolved to bounce back and fought hard to win the next game 21-17. Buoyed by the momentum of this win, they went on to win the next game as well, proceeding to the second round.
As the tournament now proceeds into its pre-quarter finals stage, it becomes very important for these players to carry forward their momentum into more challenging matches and play-offs, and we certainly hope to see them shine at the knockout stages too.