New Delhi: India`s top shuttler Ajay Jayaram kept his nose ahead of compatriot P Kashyap for the London Olympic qualification as he notched up a straight-game victory in the first round of Asia Badminton Championship in Qingdao, China on Tuesday.
Jayaram was the only bright spot on a gloomy day for India as the rest of the shuttlers bid adieu in the first hurdle at the Qingdao Sports Centre Conson Stadium.
World number 27 Jayaram prevailed over Chinese Taipei`s Jen Hao Hsu 21-19, 21-19 in a 54-minute men`s singles match.
His compatriot Kashyap, however, had a far superior competitor in the first round in world number three Chen Long of China and the Indian lost 9-21, 13-21 in 40 minutes.
Among others, young shuttler H S Prannoy suffered a 6-21, 20-22 defeat at the hands of world number 10 Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam, while Sameer Verma went down against fourth seed Simon Santoso of Indonesia 19-21, 14-21.
Jayaram, however, had to fight hard for his win as at one point he was lagging 5-8 but the Indian reeled off seven straight points to turn the table around and lead 12-8 before marching ahead at 19-19.
In the second game, Jayaram kept his head up for most part after leading 4-1 initially but world number 35 Jen caught up at 16-all before the Indian moved ahead to seal the game in his favour.