Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal moved a step closer to realising the Olympic dream of winning the first medal in badminton for the country after reaching the semifinals of the women’s singles at the London Olympics 2012 on Thursday.
Indian women’s doubles pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who failed to qualify for the quarterfinals despite a win in their last group match, will not replace one of the eight teams that were disqualified today for "not using one`s best efforts to win a match".
India's Parupalli Kashyap became the first male shuttler from India to reach quarterfinals at the Olympics as he advanced defeating Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne in the pre-quarters at the London Olympics 2012 on Wednesday.
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa beat Wen Hsing Cheng and Yu Chin Chien of Chinese Taipei 25-23, 16-21, 21-18 to register their first win in the group stages. The win meant they stay in the contention for qualifying for the quarter-finals.
India's badminton campaign in the Olympics was off to a disappointing start as the mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju went down in straight games to Indonesia's Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir in their opening group match here.