India continued its good run of form at the ongoing BWF Para Badminton World Championships as their doubles pairs including men’s doubles wheelchair duo of Prem Kumar Ale and Abu Hubaida entered the quarter-finals here on Thursday.
Ale and Hubaida, the world no. 6 pair in men’s doubles WH1-WH2, got the better of the Spanish pair of Ignacio Fernandez and Francisco Motero 21-12, 21-8 to top their group. However, Ale highlighted Wednesday’s win against Thailand’s Dumnern Junthong and Anuwat Sriboran 21-17, 23-21 was the turning point.
“That win (over Thailand) was important for us to cement our place in the elimination round.”
“It has been a good tournament so far. We have worked hard for the World championships for a long time, especially on our accuracy and combination and now the results are showing. Hopefully we can go back home with a podium finish this time,” said Ale who along with Hubaida have claimed five medals this year including one silver.
Ale and Hubaida will next face France duo Thomas Jacobs and David Toupe on Friday.
Defending champions advance
Meanwhile, top seed Pramod Bhagat and Manoj Sarkar lived up to their billing and reached the last eight stage of men’s doubles SL3-SL4 as did second seeded Chirag Baretha and Raj Kumar in men’s doubles SL3-SU5.
Bhagat and Sarkar overcame Korea’s Joo Dongjae and Shin Kyung Hwan in three games 21-17, 16-21, 21-10, while Baretha and Kumar thrashed Jorge Enrique Moreno and Jean Paul Ortiz Vargas of Colombia 21-2, 21-7.
“I am feeling very positive about my performance in men’s doubles and mixed doubles (with Mandeep Kaur). I feel we have a good combination of youth and experience, with Rajkumar Bhaiya guiding me throughout,” said Baretha, the 2017 Asian Youth Para Games bronze medallist who also has 2 gold in men’s doubles this year.
In other exciting matches, Worlds debutants Hardik Makkar and Ruthick Ragupathi rallied from a game down to defeat Chinese Taipei’s Gui Yu Pu and Yeh En-Chuan 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 in their last group match.
Meanwhile, Suhas Yathiraj and Umesh Vikram Kumar advanced with a fighting 22-24, 21-19, 21-15 win over France’s third seed Gailly Guillaume and Thomas Mathieu in men’s doubles SL3-SL4 match.
Strong show in SH6 category
In SH6 category, India will have two mixed doubles pairs – Krishna Nagar and Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan while Sivarajan Solaimalai and Rachana Shaileshkumar Patel, both of whom are raring to fight for the podium.
Among others, reigning world champion Manasi Joshi will be seen in action in three quarter-finals, including her singles, SL3-SU5 doubles with Shanthiya Viswanathan and SL3-SU5 mixed doubles alongwith Ragupathi.
Joshi and Viswanathan will face compatriots and top seeds Mandeep Kaur and Manisha Ramadass in women’s doubles SL3-SU5 quarter-finals.