Sindhu displayed a dominant performance to beat Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu-ying in straight games 21-13, 21-15 and booked her spot in the quarter-finals of the women’s singles badminton event at the Rio Olympics on Monday. The ninth seed Sindhu took 40 minutes to dismantle the eighth seeded Tai and gave her medal chances a boost in her maiden Olympic appearance.
Sindhu used her height to great advantage as she put pressure on Tai with jump smash and deft touch to force the opponent into unforced errors. Sindhu will need all the tricks she used successfully against Tai in the quarters as she faces world No. 2 and second seeded Wang Yihan of China next on Tuesday.
Earlier, India’s lone male shuttler in singles event, Srikanth+ also continued his impressive run as he defeated world No. 5 Jan Jorgensen of Denmark to reach the quarter-finals. The 11th-ranked Indian overcame the higher ranked Danish 21-19, 21-19 in a tight 42-minute contest to keep the medal hopes alive.
With the victory, Kidambi also became the second Indian male shuttler to reach the last eight stage after Parupalli Kashyap, who made the quarters in London 2012. The 23-year-old Indian will now face China’s Lin Dan, two-time Olympic champion, for a place in semi-finals on Wednesday.
India’s campaign in boxing ended on Monday when Vikas was outpunched 0-3 by Uzbekistan pugilist Bektemir Melikuziev in the quarter-final bout of the men’s middleweight (75kg) category. In the battle of southpaws, the younger 20-year-old Uzbek dominated the 24-year-old Indian in all the three rounds winning them 30-27, 30-25, 30-27. Needing a win to assure India its first medal in Rio, Vikas was unable to cope the barrage of punches the promising Uzbek boxer threw in the bout. Vikas was the last of the three Indians to bow out of the Games, after Manoj Kumar lost in the pre-quarterfinals and Shiva Thapa in the opening round.