India’s PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy were unable to progress beyond the quarterfinals of the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, China, on Friday. Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, lost to Korea’s An Se Young in the women’s singles quarterfinals, while Prannoy was defeated by Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia in the men’s singles quarterfinals.
Sindhu, who had won the silver medal at the 2018 Badminton Asia Championships, started strongly against An Se Young, taking the first game 21-14. However, the Korean fought back strongly, taking the next two games 21-16, 21-16 to win the match in just over an hour.
Sindhu had started the tournament on a positive note, defeating Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in the first round, and China’s Wang Zhi Yi in the second round. However, her loss to An Se Young ended her campaign at the tournament.
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles quarterfinals, HS Prannoy was defeated by Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia in straight games, 21-10, 21-14. Prannoy had started the tournament well, defeating China’s Lu Guangzu in the first round and Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the second round. However, his loss to Lee Zii Jia ended his campaign at the tournament as well.
The Badminton Asia Championships is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the Asian badminton circuit, featuring the top players from across the continent. The tournament is held annually and is organized by the Badminton Asia Confederation.
The tournament is seen as a crucial warm-up event for the Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to be held later this year. Many of the top players from Asia are using the tournament as an opportunity to prepare for the Olympics and to test their skills against some of the best players in the world.
Sindhu and Prannoy’s exits from the tournament will come as a blow to India’s hopes of winning medals at the Olympics. Sindhu, who won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, is considered one of India’s top medal prospects at the Tokyo Olympics. Prannoy, who has been in good form in recent months, was also considered a dark horse for a medal at the Olympics.
India’s hopes at the tournament now rest on the shoulders of other players, including Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth in the singles events, and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in the men’s doubles event.