Thailand Open: Indian Shuttlers Malvika, Ashmita Qualify For Main Round

Bangkok:  Upcoming Indian shuttlers Malvika Bansod and Ashmita Chaliha advanced to the women’s singles main draw of the Thailand Open 2022 after winning their respective qualifiers, here on Tuesday.

Bansod, 57th in the badminton world rankings, defeated compatriot Anupama Upadhyaya 21-18, 21-8 in just under half an hour at the Impact Arena. The 20-year old Bansod will face world No 59 Marija Ulitina of Ukraine in the first round on Wednesday.

On the other hand, Ashmita, a member of the Indian team which made the Uber Cup 2022 quarter-finals last week, overcame the US’s Jennie Gai 21-16, 21-18 in 27 minutes. The world No 65 shuttler will face a stiff challenge against world No 8 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the main round of the BWF Super 500 event.

All the Indian men’s singles players — Priyanshu Rajawat, Odisha Open champion Kiran George and Subhankar Dey — in action on Tuesday lost their second qualifying matches after winning their opening fixtures.

Priyanshu, a member of India’s Thomas Cup-winning team and current world No 81, accounted for former junior world No 1 Christo Popov of France 21-16, 21-17 in the first qualifier but lost to Li Shi Feng of China 10-21, 24-22, 12-21 in the second. Odisha Open champion Kiran George, world No 73, and Subhankar Dey, ranked 65th, were eliminated in similar fashion.

MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, India’s top doubles pair in the absence of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, lost their round-of-32 match to Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei 12-21, 21-19, 19-21 in 57 minutes.

Top Indian badminton players PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth will be in action from Wednesday. Meanwhile, Lakshya Sen and the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have pulled out from the Thailand meet.

(IANS)