Asian badminton: Ajay Jayaram goes down fighting

Qingdao (China), April 18: India’s top shuttler Ajay Jayaram went down fighting to Wei Nan of Hong Kong over three games in the second round of the men’s singles event in the Asian badminton championships here Wednesday. He lost 22-24, 21-11, 15-21.

The Indians, however, had a moderate success in the doubles event with their pairs winning in the women’s and mixed doubles.

In the mixed doubles, V Diju and Jwala Gutta beat Indonesia’s Widianto Riky and Dili Puspita Richi 21-16, 21-18 while Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre beat Koreans Kim Ki Jung and Kyung Kin 21-16, 13-21, 21-18.

But Pranav Chopra and Prajakta Sawant lost to Hirata Noriyasu and Miyuki Maeda of Japan 15-21, 16-21 and Kona Tarun and Ashwini Ponnappa were beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Yang Chih Hsun and Wen Tsai Y, 16-21, 12-21.

In the men’s doubles, India’s top pair K.T. Rupesh Kumar and Thomas Sanave lost to Koreans Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang 13-21, 14-21, while Tarun and Arun Vishnu lost to China’s Chai Biao and Gua Zhendong 14-21, 11-21.

In the women’s doubles, Indonesians Marissa Vita and Melati Nadya outlasted Commonwealth Games gold medallists Jwala and Ashwini 18-21, 21-17 and 21-7, but the other Indian pair Pradnya and Prajakta beat Chiang Kai Hsin and Tsai Pei Ling of Chinese Taipei, 21-13, 14-21, 21-16.

In the men’s singles, the Chinese domination continued as former world champion Chen Jin last 16.

Chen, who is fighting hard to be among the world top four to earn a third Olympic ticket for China, was too good for Chu Han Chou of Chinese Taipei, winning 21-13, 21-5.

“I’m not familiar with Chu’s play style, so the first set was a bit tight, but in the second I controlled the tempo,” said Chen, who will face Japan’s Kento Momota in the third round.

For Chen, his recent victories in Switzerland and Australia are almost sure to guarantee him a ticket to the London Olympic Games. He is currently ranked fifth in the world, but based on points collected during the Olympic period he is at No.4, ahead of Peter Gade of Denmark.

Gade was competing in the European Championships simultaneously, in which the veteran also cruised past the second round by beating Ville Lang of Finland 21-17, 21-12. Therefore, Chen still needs to put out his best in order to ensure his No.4 place.

Chinese shuttler Lin Dan and Chen Long, who have already secured Olympic tickets, showed no mercy as both reached the third round at ease.

Top seed Lin needed 33 minutes to dispose of Huang Chao of Singapore 21-17, 21-18, while second seed Chen Long dominated Hsuan Yi Hsueh of Chinese Taipei from the start to register a 21-13, 21-14 victory.

In women’s singles, Chinese eight participants occupied half of the top 16 after the first round. World top four Wang Yihan, Wang Xin, Wang Shixian and Li Xuerui all claimed victory.

IANS