London Olympics Bronze medallist Saina Nehwal started her Rio campaign in style, defeating local favourite Brazilian player Lohanny Vicente in the women’s singles event. Proving what it is to be a top ranked player, she got the better of the Brazilian 21-17, 21-17 in her first Group G game.
Runner-up at the All England and World Championships, the 26-year-old spearheaded India’s challenge at the world’s biggest podium, not giving her opponent many opportunities and took a healthy lead early on. She raced ahead 7-5 in the first game but soon Lohaynny fought back to level 12-12. After the break, Saina had a slender lead again to Lohaynny, and then went on to win four consecutive points taking the first set 21-17. In the second game, Nehwal went into break with a 11-5 lead and soon had six match points with the score at 20-14. She finally closed the second set and the match at 20-17. Saina will next face off Maria Ulitina of Ukraine on 14 Aug.
India had a disappointing start to their badminton campaign as the women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lost in their opening group match against Japan 15-21, 10-21 in just 38 minutes. Also, both archers Deepika Kumari andBombayla Devi were eliminated from their individual events. However, PV Sindhu had a good start with a comfortable win in straight games earlier in the day. And now with Saina winning her match as well, there will be some cause for cheer in the Indian contingent.
That’s the wrap up for today’s Olympics games. Watch this space to get updated.
Feature Image Credits: indianexpress.com
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