New Delhi, April 28: India’s Parupalli Kashyap Friday qualified for the London Olympics with third-seeded Chinese Chen Jin pulling out of the quarterfinal match, citing a wrist injury, in India Open Super Series badminton.
The unexpected walkover helped World No 30 Kashyap gain much-needed ranking points to take him past fellow-countryman 27th-ranked Ajay Jayaram.
Kashyap will be the highest-ranked Indian player when the May 3 rankings are considered to finalise the Olympic singles draw.
Obviously, Chen lost interest in the championship once it was known that he would be the third Chinese player to make the Olympics. The rules allow three entries from a country if all the three ranked in the top four ranked players in the world.
Chen will thus join second-ranked Lin Dan and third-ranked Chen Long at the Olympics.
Chen Jin’s London berth was confirmed after second-seed Peter Gade of Denmark lost to Wan Ho Shon of South Korea 22-24, 18-21, earlier in the day.
Wan Ho Shon will now play Kashyap in the semi-finals.
“It’s a fantastic feeling (to qualify for the Olympics). Not that I was sure to win against Chen Jin but I had played against him before. Given the past results and the home support I was confident of doing well against him. But this has come as a surprise and my entire focus now will be to do well tomorrow,” said Kashyap.
India’s Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa also made sure of a place at the London doubles, though they lost their doubles quarterfinal match.
Jwala and Diju are also more or less through to the Olympics mixed doubles event.
However, Kashyap’s qualification was the only bright spot for the Indian contingent at Siri Fort Friday.
Kashyap’s qualification overshadowed a gallant display of P. V. Sindhu in the women’s singles. The Indian girl lost after taking the first game against fourth seeded Chinese, Jiang Yangjiao. She was beaten 21-18, 12-21, 18-21 after an hour-long battle.
Gutta and Ponnappa and men’s doubles combination of Rupesh Kumar-Sanave Thomas were also knocked out in the quarter-finals.
In the doubles event, Jwala and Ashwini began the match on an impressive note but seem to run out of steam as they went down 21-19, 13-21, 14-21 against third seed Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna of Japan while Rupesh and Sanave failed to recreate Wednesday’s magic and lost 12-21, 12-21 against Thailand’s Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit.
The results (Quarterfinals):
Men: Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Taufik Hidayat (Ina) 21-16, 21-13; Jen Hao Hsu (Tpe) bt Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den) 21-19, 21-18; P. Kashyap w/o Chen Jin (Chn); Wan Ho Shon (Kor) bt Peter Gade (Den) 24-22, 21-18.
Women: Juliane Schenk (Ger) bt Wang Shixian (Chn) 6-21, 21-10, 21-16; Xiao Jia Chen (Chn) bt Youn Joo Bae (Kor) 21-17, 21-13; Jiang Yangjiao (Chn) bt P.V. Sindhu 18-21, 21-12, 21-18; Li Xuerui (Chn) bt Juan Gu (Sin) 21-15, 21-11.
Men’s doubles: Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit (Tha) bt Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas 21-12, 21-12.
Women’s doubles: Miyuki Maeda & Satoko Suetsuna (Jpn) bt G. Jwala & Ashwini Ponnappa 19-21, 21-13, 21-14.