SAG Badminton: Indian shuttlers assured of eight medals
Pokhara (Nepal): India shuttlers continued their dominating show at the 13th South Asian Games after four individuals and as many doubles pairs enter semi-finals in Pokhara, Nepal, on Wednesday. With entry into the last-4 stage, shuttlers will at least win bronze at the competition.
Top-seed Siril Verma started the day on winning note for India when he beat Pakistan’s Murad Ali 21-12, 21-17 in the men’s singles quarter-final match while, in the women’s singles quarter-finals, 16-year-old Gayathri Gopichand stunned second-seed Pakistan’s Pakistan’s Mahoor Shahzad with a convincing 21-15, 21-16 win.
Joining Gayathri in the semi-finals was top-seed Ashmita Chaliha, who also thrashed Pakistani opponent, Palwasha Bashir 21-9, 21-7. Aryaman Tandon was the another Indian after Verma to reach into men’s singles semi-finals after he registered 21-17, 21-17 win over Sri Lanka’s Ranthushka Karunathilake.
The Indian women’s doubles pairs, Kuhoo Garg-Anoushka Parikh and Meghana Jakkampudi-S Nelakurthi, also progressed into the semi-finals after beating their Bangladeshi opponents. While, Garg and Parikh beat Bristi Khatun and Rehana Khatun 21-18, 21-11, Jakkampudi and Nelakurthi notched up 21-14, 21-11 win against Shalpa Akter and Alina Sultana.
In the mixed doubles category, top-seeded pair of Dhruv Kapila and Jakkampudi had to fight hard in the second set against Sri Lanka’s Ranthushka Karunathilake and Kavindi Sirimannage before clinching the match 21-14, 26-24.
The only setback for India came in the men’s doubles category when top seeded pair of Arun George and Sanyam Shukla lost to Sri Lanka’s S Dias Angoda Vidanalage and B Tharindu Dullew 21-10, 23-21. However, Krishna Garaga and Kapila kept India’s medal hope alive in men’s doubles category when they thrashed second seed Nepal’s Dipesh Dhami and Ratanjit Tamang 21-16, 21-13 to enter semi-finals.
All the semi-finals matches will take place on Thursday.