HS Prannoy storms into the quarter-finals of the BWF World Championships

Indian Shuttler HS Prannoy defeated Singapore’s 2021 champion Loh Kean Yew in three games in the Round of 16 of the World Badminton Championships in Budapest on Thursday. For the third year in a row, India’s top-ranked singles player advances to the global meet quarter-finals. HS Prannoy has yet to get past the World Championships quarter-finals stage, but the in-form Indian will be hoping to break through. In the quarter-finals on Friday, World no.9 Prannoy will lock horns with the winner Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.

Prannoy defeated Loh Kean Yew 21-18 15-21 21-19 after overcoming a mid-match slump. Prannoy appeared energized despite the strapping on his left shoulder. The Malaysia Masters champion, who also made the Australian Open final this year, played an aggressive style, hitting those jump smashes with regularity as coach Pullela Gopichand stood on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Lakshya Sen gave it his best but fell in three games against third-seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn. Lakshya, the World No. 11, dropped the first game 14-21 but recovered in the second to force a decider. The 22-year-old Indian and Kunlavut were in a race for speed, as both shuttlers were lightning fast on the pitch. The decisive was fiercely contested, as expected, but the Thai shuttler stormed ahead after the final change of ends, gaining 6 points in a row and securing a ticket in the quarter-finals.

In the men’s doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty advanced to the quarter-finals of the BWF World Championships after a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Indonesia’s Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin. The top-ranked Indian couple is just one win away from adding to their bronze medal from last year’s world meet. Although the Indian pair started slowly, they brought more discipline in their approach as the game progressed.

Satwik and Chirag overcame a second-game setback to win the match and advance to the quarter-finals. The World No.2 Indian pair will next face 11th seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen today (August 25) to claim a spot in the semi-finals. Satwik and Chirag, who have already won four tour titles this season, including the Super1000 title at the Indonesia Open, will look to add another global medal before heading to the Asian Games.

In women’s doubles, however, the highly-rated Indian duo of Gayatri Gopichand and Jolly Treesa were eliminated in the Round of 32. They were defeated 14-21, 9-21 in 42 minutes by China’s three-time champions and top-seeded Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan.