2018 Commonwealth Games: Kidambi Srikanth leads India to badminton team event semis
Star shuttler Kidambi Srikanth led from the front as India thrashed Mauritius 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals of badminton mixed team event in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, on Saturday. (CWG 2018 Live Updates)
Srikanth took just 29 minutes to beat Georges Julien Paul 21-12 21-14 in the men’s singles after the two doubles pairs had given India a 2-0 lead.
The men’s doubles duo of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Chandrashekhar Shetty hardly broke a sweat in their 21-12 21-3 win over Aatish Lubah and Christopher Jean Paul in the first match before Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy chalked out an easy 21-8 21-7 victory over Aurelie Marie Elisa and Nicki Chan-Lam in the women’s doubles.
“We have been playing really well throughout the tournament. Going deep into the tournament, everything gets tougher. I think all the other teams, including Malaysia, England and Singapore, are all tough,” Srikanth said after his match.
2012 London Olympics medallist Saina Nehwal did not have to play her part in the quarterfinal match as India had already taken a match-winning 3-0 lead.
India take on Singapore in the semifinals on Sunday. Singapore had beaten hosts Australia 3-0 in another quarterfinal match.
“I think Singapore have been playing really well, so we cannot rule them out and need to be at our best,” he added.
Asked whether, Malaysian great Lee Chong Wei will be his biggest competitor for the
men’s singles title, Srikanth said, “In the individual evnet, there are many other contenders. Besides Chong Wei, there is Rajiv Ouseph (of England) and H S Prannoy also. All are playing well.
“I need to be at my best to be able to beat any one of them.”
Men’s doubles player Chirag Chandrashekhar said, “We have played them (Mauritius players) before, so I think our game went well and we were pretty comfortable in winning the match. It is hopefully good to play some shorter matches and look forward to the semis.”
Asked about his partner Satwik Rankireddy, Chirag said, “We have been able to work on a few things. After taking the lead we started to lift a little, so we can refine some of our skills and defensive work. It was a good game for us.”