Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen withdrew from the Hong Kong Open 2023 badminton tournament before his match on Wednesday, handing his opponent, Chinese Taipei’s Su Li Yang, a walkover. Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya, seeded eighth in men’s singles, was India’s biggest bet at the Hong Kong Open 2023, which is being held at Hong Kong Coliseum in Kowloon. Other top Indian badminton players like PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth skipped the Hong Kong meet, as per Olympics.com.
Lakshya Sen, who won the Canada Open Super 500 in July, pulled out hours before his match.
After world No. 13 Lakshya Sen’s withdrawal from the Hong Kong Open, Priyanshu Rajawat, India’s last remaining men’s singles player in the competition, also bowed out in the first round, losing 13-21, 14-21 against Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan.
Meanwhile, Indian duo Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s doubles with a 21-19, 21-19 victory over the higher-ranked Chinese Taipei pair of Lee Chia Hsin and Teng Chun Hsun.
According to the latest BWF rankings, the Ashwini-Tanisha team is 50th in the world, while Chia Hsin and Chun Hsun are ranked 21st.
Ponnappa-Crasto’s victory, however, was the only high point in what was otherwise a disappointing day for Indian shuttlers in Hong Kong.
In mixed doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Reddy B. Sumeeth, ranked 67th in the world, went down fighting against Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei of Malaysia – the world No. 9s. The Indian pair lost by a 16-21, 21-16, 18-21 margin in their round of 32 match.
Sikki Reddy and Rohan Kapoor, meanwhile, lost to Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Tan Wei Han Jessica 19- 21, 10-21 in the first round.
The People’s Republic of China’s Zhang Yi Man beat Asian Games-bound Malvika Bansod 21-14, 21-12 in the first round of women’s singles main draw. Zhang Yi Man, a former world championships bronze medallist, dominated the Indian shuttler in both games.
Aakarshi Kashyap bowed out after losing to Yvonne Li of Germany 18-21, 10-21.
Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala fell 14-21, 19-21 to South Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol in the opening round of men’s doubles.
With India’s campaign in men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles already over, only two Indian women’s doubles teams – Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly and Ashwini Ponnappa/Tanisha Crasto – will be competing at the Hong Kong Open on Thursday.
Results at the Hong Kong Open 2023 will also count towards qualifying rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
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