Woman shuttler P V Sindhu carries India’s medal hope on day 11 of the Olympic Games here when she faces a daunting task against China’s Wang Yihan, silver-medallist four years ago in London, in the quarterfinals.
The lanky player from Hyderabad and Kidambi Srikanth, who made it to the men’s singles quarters, are the only two medal contenders left in the competition after the shock elimination of last Games bronze medallist and former world no. 1 Saina Nehwal two days ago.
Two-time World Championship bronze-medallist Sindhu advanced to the last eight of women’s singles by notching up a dominating 21-13 21-15 win in 40 minutes over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying yesterday which should serve as a good morale boost against the formidable Yihan.
The 21-year-old from Hyderabad outclassed eighth seed Tai 21-13 21-15 in a 40-minute pre-quarterfinals clash here. Srikanth also showed his class when he upset higher ranked Danish rival Jan Jorgensen to become the second man from India to enter the last eight in badminton after Parupalli Kashyap in the 2012 London Games.
He too faces an arduous task in the quarters on Wednesday against two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China, who is defending the title which he won in London. Greco-Roman wrestler Hardeep Singh is the other Indian in action today in the 98kg section.
Barring the encouraging display of Sindhu and Srikanth it was yet another extremely disappointing day for India here on day 10 yesterday.
There was disappointment in the boxing arena as well with former Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas (75kg) taking a pounding from second seed Bektemir Melikuziev in the quarterfinals to bow out of the Games, ending India’s boxing challenge without a medal for the first time in eight years.
With Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) already out of contention, Vikas’ loss today drew the curtains on the Indian boxing challenge in the Games.
It is the second successive time that the male boxers failed to secure a medal given that the 2012 bronze had come through M C Mary Kom (51kg).
Vijender Singh (75kg) thus remains the first and only Indian male boxer to have secured an Olympic medal, bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games.
In the quarterfinal contest last night, seventh-seeded Vikas was simply no match for the world No.3, a World Championships silver-medallist and the reigning Asian champion, a title he won after beating Vikas in the final last year.