Young Indian badminton ace Lakshya Sen sailed into the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals with a straight game win over Spain’s Luis Penalver in the BWF World Championships at Tokyo on Wednesday. However, last edition’s silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth faced a stunning defeat in the round-of-32 tie, losing to China’s Zhao Jun Peng in straight games.
Commonwealth Games champion Sen won his second round match 21-17 21-10, taking 72 minutes to complete the formality. After trailing 3-4, the ninth seeded Sen grabbed a six-point lead to be 13-7. The Indian continued to stay ahead before comfortably wrapping up the first game.
Sen, a world championship bronze medallist, then maintained his stranglehold over the Spanish shuttler and won the second game by a bigger margin.
In the second game, the first six points were shared between the two players, but the 21-year-old Indian pulled ahead riding on his superior play.
Enjoying a massive nine-point lead at one stage of the second game, it was only a matter of time before Sen completed the job.
Srikanth, meanwhile, had a disappointing start to the match, lacking in fight in the first game to go down 9-21 before turning up in the second. However, it wasn’t enough from the Indian shuttler as he conceded a 17-21 loss to bow out of the championships.
Earlier, the Indian men’s doubles pair of M R Arjun and Dhruv Kapila moved to the pre-quarterfinals but Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy made a second-round exit from the prestigious tournament.
The unseeded Arjun and Kapila upstaged eighth seeds and last edition’s bronze medallists Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 21-17 21-16 in the their second-round match.
They will face Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean of Singapore next.
Ponnappa and Sikki, on the other hand, were handed a 21-15 21-10 by top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China in 42 minutes.
The other women’s doubles pairing of Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh’s also crashed out of the tournament, going down to third seeds Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan of Korea 15-21 7-21.