In the Tokyo Olympics, badminton maverick PV Sindhu is through to the pre-quarterfinals of Badminton while Deepika Kumari also progressed to the next round. With the two victories, the two national legends have kept India’s hopes of bringing a few more medals alive.
While the Indian contingent started off well, with weightlifter Mirabai Chanu bagging the silver medal, there has been lackluster performances across the competition by Indian athletes so far.
— ANI (@ANI) July 28, 2021
Bearing the weight of all the expectations, Indian shuttler and reigning world champion PV Sindhu defeated Hong Kong’s NY Cheung in the group stage match on Wednesday at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. Sindhu defeated her Hong Kong based competitor 21-9, 21-16 and has now qualified for the pre-quarterfinal stage of the event.
During the women’s singles badminton event, 26-year-old PV Sindhu was to meet Cheung for the 6th time. The current badminton world champion, who had clinched a silver at the last Olympics edition in Rio, never looked out of her depth and won comprehensively in the 36-minute match.
Sindhu and her cocktail of aggressive strokes and varied pace
During the game, Sindhu used a combination of strokes, defence and her unmatched ability to mix up the pace to slowly and surely push her opponent out of the game. Although her opponent received a few points here and there thanks to her illusionary defensive returns, she also was made some serious errors that were unforced in nature and thus, failed to put Sindhu in any kind of pressure.
Game 1: Sindhu Wins 20-9
In the first game, Sindhu was leading from the front, with a 6-2 lead and slowly progressed to 9-3. Sindhu then galloped to 11-5 as both the players entered the interval. Not letting the interval break down her focus, Sindhu resumed superbly and took a thumping 20-9 lead to then bag the game as her opponent netted a return serve.
Game 2: Cheung Looks Lethal, Makes comeback
In the second game, Cheung looked perfectly capable of pulling off an upset, extending multiple rallies and taking control of the Shuttle from Sindhu. The game looked like both the sides to win as the score was once 6-6 and then 8-8.
28-year-old Cheung looked lethal in the second game with Sindhu now committing the same errors as her opponent in the first game. However, Sindhu gained a 1-point advantage over her opponent thanks to a serve where she sent the shuttle high and wide.
Game Goes to 19-14, Sindhu Seals the Deal
With the game closing in at 19-14 and the Indian shuttler at 5-point advantage, Sindhu put the gears in motion and clinched 6 match points one after the other. She could’ve sealed the match 21-14, however, due to missing the line and netting a shot, she gave away two points before eventually sealing the last game with a gorgeous smash.
Sindhu has to now meet Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt who is currently the World Number 12. Although, Sindhu does have a 4-1 record against her Denmark opponent, Blichfeldt did defeat Sindhu at the Yonex Thailand Open, 2021.
World No. 1 Indian Archer Deepika Kumari Progresses to Next Round
#TeamIndia | #Tokyo2020 | #Archery
Women's Individual 1/32 Eliminations Results@ImDeepikaK progresses comfortably into the 1/16 Elimination Round after going past Karma of Bhutan. #WayToGo champ!! 👏🙌🏹#RukengeNahi #EkIndiaTeamIndia #Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/Qew3EwBRgr
— Team India (@WeAreTeamIndia) July 28, 2021
Meanwhile, in another event pertaining to archery, Indian ace archeress Deepika Kumari too kept India’s hope of bagging another medal alive. Currently ranked number 1, Deepika progressed to the 1/16 eliminations round by defeating Bhutan’s Bhu Karma at the Yumenoshima Ranking Field. The 27-year-old archeress defeated her Bhutan-based opponent 6-0.
Scoring 8,9, and 9 in the first set, Kumari’s total score was 26 while Karma couldn’t match the same finesse and scored a total of 23, helping Deepika to get a 2-0 lead. In the second set, Kumari continued on her form and took the lead and as the 3rd set came to an end, Kumari had already taken a 6-0 lead.