Olympics 2012: Kashyap reaches last 16 as others fall by wayside

PTI    31-Jul-2012

$img_titleLondon, July 31: Parupalli Kashyap displayed a splendid attacking style of badminton to shock his higher ranked rival Tien Minh Nguye of Vietnam in straight games and progress to the pre-quarterfinals of the men's singles event at the London Olympics on Tuesday.

Kashyap, ranked 21st in the world, outplayed his rival who is ranked 11 places above him, 21-9 21-14 in the second and final Group D match to clinch a berth in the knock-out stage by topping Group D, having beaten Tan Yuhan of Belgium in an earlier group match.

However, the Hyderabad shuttler's display was the lone bright spot for India in the morning whose archers Jayanta Talukdar and Chekrovolu Swuro were beaten in the opening rounds of the individual events and while the mixed doubles pair in badminton V Diju and Jwala Gutta also lost their second group match and got eliminated.

The country's rowers also went out of medal reckoning and have to fight for minor places in men's single sculls and lightweight double sculls.

Swarn Singh Virk failed to qualify for the semifinals of the single sculls as he came in fourth in the quarterfinals.

Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh finished sixth and last in the repechage 2 of the lightweight double sculls.

It was also curtains for Olympic debutant Garima Chaudhary who was eliminated from the judo competition after being knocked out by Yoshie Ueno of Japan in the opening round.

There was a setback in boxing too when the protest lodged by the Indians against the judging in the 81 kg bout between Sumit Sangwan and Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino was thrown out by the jury.

"The protest has been rejected. The reasons were not given to us but in cases like these, it is extremely rare that a protest is accepted and the decision overturned," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said.

Sumit lost 14-15 to Florentino in a closely-contested bout which left the Indian team and Sports Minister Ajay Maken enraged, prompting a quick protest.

Kashyap was the show stealer in morning action at the Wembley arena. The Indian shuttler was aggressive right from the word go and never let his rival settle down, and also set up points beautifully by opening the court before executing the winners with ease.

It was a match featuring long rallies and some attractive badminton and lasted 35 minutes. Kashyap's next rival would be known when the knock out draw is made.

Kashyap was delighted with the easy win but rued that his father could not be there to see him dominate the match.

"I expected to win but not that easily. Not that it was an easy game - we had some long rallies and when he gets into his rhythm he can be very dangerous." Kashyap said.

Talking about his rival Minh today, Kashyap said he was not an easy play to beat and that his strategy worked.

"Once he gets two or three points in a row he's very dangerous, so I really tried to keep it to two points only. If he gets five or six he can run away with the game.

"I trained really hard for this competition and I think I won because of my fitness levels," he said.

However, in mixed doubles, Jwala and Diju went down to the Korean pair of Jung Eun Ha and Young Dae Lee, who pulled off a comfortable 21-15 21-15 victory in a tussle that lasted 27 minutes.

The Indian duo, who had already suffered two losses earlier in the four-team pool, could not match the Koreans as they were far superior in all aspects of the game.

Away from the badminton court it was heartbreak for India at the Lord's Cricket Ground, where the archery competition is being held, and in the rowing arena.