Sindhu, Srikanth keep India’s hopes alive, Vikas exits: Rio Olympics


On the tenth day of Rio Olympics, Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu+ andKidambi Srikanth booked their quarterfinals berths to keep medal hopes alive on Monday, but boxer Vikas Krishan failed to assure a medal after losing his last-eight bout late in the day.

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.

At the Olympic Stadium, Lalita Babar+ finished tenth in the women’s 3000m steeplechase with a timing of 9:22.74 in the final. It was a below par performance for Babar, who broke national record in the qualification (9:19.76) to become the first Indian female track finalist in 32 years. The result though remained the best performance by an Indian in a track event since PT Usha’s fourth-place in 400m hurdles in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
 There was more disappointment for India in athletic events on Monday, with both sprinter Srabani Nanda and triple jumper Renjith Maheshwary failing to progress further from their initial rounds. The 25-year-old Srabani clocked 23.58s to finish sixth in her 200m heat, and crashed out of the Games as 55th ranked in the 72-athlete event.It was a similar story for 30-year-old Maheshwary, a three-time Olympian, as he registered a best jump of 16.13m to finish 30th in the event. Unlike his London outing, where he failed to register a mark, Maheshwary successfully completed all his three qualifying jumps with his best coming in the second. But he failed to qualify for the final by a long margin with the final slot, the 12th, going to Cuba’s Lazaro Martinez for a jump of 16.61m.
India’s wrestling campaign also began on Monday with Ravinder Khatri participating in the 85kg category of the Greco-Roman event. But Khatri failed to cross his opening hurdle as he was thrashed 9-0 by Viktor Lorincz of Hungary on Great Superiority – which indicates a difference of eight technical points with the loser without logging any points.

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