CWG 2022: Lakshya Sen & Co too good for Lankans, enter KO round

It was veteran Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy who took the court in the mixed doubles match.

Published: 31st July 2022 01:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2022 01:46 AM   |  A+A-

Lakshya Sen (top) had to work hard in the first game in the men’s singles tie against Sri Lanka. Chirag Shetty & Sumeeth Reddy in action on Saturday | ap

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Indian shuttlers entered the CWG with quite a reputation. Living up to their billing, they had made light work of Pakistan in their opening game (Group I) of the mixed team event in Birmingham on Friday. On Saturday, the theme remained the same.

Sri Lanka were at the receiving end on the day, as Indian shuttlers put up another handsome display to crush the Islanders 5-0. Indian shuttlers, in the process, booked a spot in the knockouts and will be determined to go all the way and retain the top prize.

With games coming thick and fast and individual events yet to begin, the Indian team shuffled players against Sri Lanka. It was veteran Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy who took the court in the mixed doubles match. The duo are familiar to each other and initially seemed a bit rusty, but had no issues dispatching Sachin Dias and Thilini Hendahewa 21-14, 21-9.

While Kidambi Srikanth featured for India in the men’s singles tie against Pakistan, it was Lakshya Sen’s turn to take the court. The top-ranked male shuttler from India clearly seemed a little rusty, which was understandable given the fact that he was making a competitive action after a over a month’s gap.

In the first game, his rival Niluka Karunaratne, a World No 131, suprised many by putting up a strong show. But despite the margins being fine, in terms of score, Lakshya was unfazed and kept his calm to pocket the first game.The second game was a no contest as Lakshya raced to 21 points, leaving his helpless opponent stranded at 5.

Youngster Aakarshi Kashyap was in focus next. Given that she’s in place of Saina Nehwal, who is not part of the team after missing out on national trials, Aakarshi has big shoes to fill. Aakarshi did more than enough on the day, dispatching Vidara Suhasni 21-3, 21-9 to help India seal the contest. 

Making her first maiden appearance in the marquee event, the 20-year-old could not have dreamt of a better start.Men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Sumit Reddy and women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gaytri Gopichand added shine to India’s performance with an equally dominating output.
The team was due to face Australia in the final league group match later in the day.

Hussamuddin advances

Boxer Mohammad Hussamuddin was too good for South Africa’s Amzolele Dyeyi on Saturday, winning the bout by 5-0 margin. Beginning his campaign in the 57kg category, Hussamuddin landed some telling hits on his opponent and never seemed to be in trouble. Bronze medallist from the 2018 edition, the Indian entered last 16 with this win and will be determined to change the colour of the medal this time around. Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (70kg) and Sanjeet (92kg) were due to be in action late on Saturday.


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