London Olympics 2012: Saina Nehwal shuttling to Quarterfinals

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saina-nehwal-quarterfinalAug 2, London: India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal continued putting up staggering show and kept her medal hopes alive as she played impressive badminton and easily crushed Dutch Jie Yao in Women’s Singles Group E at the 2012 London Olympics on Wednesday.

For Saina it was only a workout match ahead of her crucial quarterfinal clash on Thursday which help her to get accustomed to a taller player. For her path to a much desired Olympic medal is expected to be littered with towering girls with steep smashes.

Having cleared her pool with no hiccups, and coming up against 35-year-old Jie Yao – born a Chinese but representing The Netherlands for several years, the quarterfinal is expected to be a sudden scrutiny of her Olympics A-game.

The 22-year-old Saina brought some cheer to the Indian camp on an otherwise dismal day as she clinically dismantled her Netherlands opponents with a 21-14, 21-16 scoreline in a tussle which lasted 40 minutes.

After her compatriot P Kashyap created history by becoming the first Indian to move into men’s singles quarter final, Saina kept her reputation intact by making it to the last-eight stage of the badminton competitions, that has been hit by scandal which had led to disqualification of four top teams.

After two easy matches in the group stages, it was a good warm up for Saina, who will take on either two-time All England champion Tine Baun of Denmark or Sayaka Sato of Japan in the quarterfinals.

Up against the world No 20 Jie, Saina surged to a 11-5 lead and moved to the game point in a jiffy when the Dutch girl hit wide.

The Chinese-born girl saved a few game points, mainly because of the error of judgement by Saina and a couple of loose shots but soon the Indian pocketed the game with a beautiful net play.

In the second game, Saina brought out her variations and involved Jie in rallies to lead 11-7 at the break. Jie fought back to narrow the gap to 14-12 but that didn’t affect the Indian as she moved ahead to 19-15 with a drop and then executed a cross court smash to earn the match point.

Jie won a net play but with her hitting out, Saina burst into celebration.

Earlier, Parupalli Kashyap, India’s entry in men’s singles, became the first Indian man to move into the quarters of Olympic men’s singles badminton event with a hard-fought win over Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne at the Wembley Arena on Wednesday. In reaching the last-8 stage with a 21-14, 15-21, 21-9 win, Kashyap emulated compatriot Saina Nehwal who reached the quarterfinals in Beijing in 2008.

Kashyap will meet world No. 2 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysiain the quarterfinals. He said, “I was tired as he was retrieving everything. But I decided to stay with him in rallies and that helped me.”

News Gathered by India News

Posted by on Thursday, August 2nd, 2012. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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