Copenhagen (Denmark), Aug 22 (Ajit Weekly News) Two-time Olympic medallist P.V. Sindhu crashed out of the World Badminton Championships 2023 here on Tuesday, losing to Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a clash of two former champions.
Lakshya Sen, however, kept alive his chances of winning another medal by reaching the pre-quarterfinals. The 22-year-old Lakshya defeated Jeon Hyeok-Jin of Republic of Korea 21-11, 21-12 in 36 minutes.
There were some more setbacks for India as the mixed doubles pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan went down to Jones Ralfy Jansen and Linda Efler of Germany 21-12, 21-11 in a Round of 64 clash.
Sindhu, who defeated Okuhara in the final to win the women’s singles title in the 2019 edition in Basel, Switzerland, went down to the Japanese star 21-14, 21-14 in a 44-minute encounter in the Danish capital.
Sindhu, who won silver in the Rio Olympics in 2016 and then bronze at Tokyo, trails old nemesis Okuhara 10-9 in head-to-head and the two have produced many close encounters. But Tuesday’s clash at Court No 2 at Royal Arena was a rather one-sided affair with the Indian failing to capitalize on an 9-0 lead in the second game.
Both players went neck-and-neck initially in the first game before Okuhara opened a 9-6 lead. Sindhu, however, caught up with her at 9-9 but the Japanese shuttler again opened up a lead and from 12-10, surged ahead to win the first game 21-14.
The second game started on a good note for the 28-year-old Sindhu as she surged to a 9-0 lead. Okuhara, who has dropped down to 36th in BWF Ranking while Sindhu is No.15, got back her rhythm and five points in a row and then from 10-5 won four more points to make it 10-9.
The Japanese shuttler caught up with Sindhu at 12-12 and then went from strength to strength as she won the game 21-14, clearly riding on her superior fitness to victory. Sindhu got a bye in the first round.
Playing against his Korean opponent, Lakshya to an early lead in the first game and then maintained his advantage. From a 6-4 lead, the Indian shuttler opened up a 10-4 advantage and then made it 13-6. Lakshya maintained his upper hand as he went on to win the first game 21-11.
The trend continued in the second game too as Lakshya opened a 4-1 lead and maintained his advantage, always keeping a healthy lead against Jeon Hyeok-Jin.
–Ajit Weekly News
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