Indian shuttler and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu booked her place in the quarterfinals of the badminton event with a comfortable 21-15, 21-13 straight games win over world No. 13 Mia Blichfeldt from Denmark at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday (July 29). Blichfeldt had topped Group I before entering the badminton elimination rounds to earn the right to face Sindhu in the pre-quarters.
Despite the minimal amount of tournaments in 2021 and the lead-up to the Olympics, Blichfeldt has faced Sindhu twice in this time. At the Thailand Open, the determined Dane scored her first win over the defending Olympic silver medallist. It took 74 minutes of hard gruelling work, but the win was recorded – 16-21, 26-24, 21-13. Sindhu was able to set the record straight at the Swiss Open semifinal a few months later, winning 22-20, 21-10.
Sindhu will next face the winner of the match between Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and Korea's Kim Gaeun. On Wednesday (July 28), Sindhu had defeated world No. 34 Hong Kong's NY Cheung 21-9, 21-16 to top Group J.
“I started off well in the first game but around 15-16 I gave a couple of points because I was rushing in my defence. My coach was telling me that I was playing the wrong way and I realised that and I immediately changed my tactics and completed the first game,” Sindhu told media after the match. “Second game I was fine, I was maintaining the lead and finished it off.”
Sindhu is the lone Indian badminton hope left in fray after B Sai Praneeth's maiden Olympic campaign ended in agony in the men's competition. He went down in straight games to Mark Caljouw of Netherlands for his second defeat in Group D.
With this, Sindhu advances to quarter-final
— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) July 29, 2021
On Tuesday, the men's doubles team of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy suffered a heartbreak after failing to make the quarterfinals despite winning two matches in their group.
Arjun, Arvind finish fifth in Final B of lightweight men's double sculls
The Indian Rowing duo of Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh finished fifth in the Final B of lightweight men's Double Sculls at Sea Forest Waterway on Thursday (July 29). The Indian duo completed the race with a timing of 6:29.66 in the Final B. Arjun was the bower while Arvind had the responsibility of stroking in the match.
The Indian pair maintained their fifth position throughout the race. Spain topped the final by 6:15.45 while Poland came second with 6:16.01. The duo from Norway 'did not start' the race in the six-team field. On Wednesday, the Indian team qualified for the Final B in lightweight Men's Double Sculls after finishing sixth with a timing of 6:24.41 in the semifinal A/B 2.
Earlier on Sunday, the rower duo of Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh qualified for the repechage semi-final A/B by finishing third with a timing of 6:51.36. The Indian pair gradually took the pace and moved ahead of Uzbekistan after the 1000m mark and maintained the lead till the finish.
(with agency inputs)