Tokyo Olympics: Sindhu, Sai Praneeth draw tough knockout opponents
PV Sindhu, gunning for her second successive medal, and B Sai Praneeth were handed a difficult draw and are slated to face tricky opponents in the knockout stages of
MUMBAI: PV Sindhu, gunning for her second successive medal, and B Sai Praneeth were handed a difficult draw and are slated to face tricky opponents in the knockout stages of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In the draw conducted by Badminton World Federation on Thursday, the Indian men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty was clubbed in Group A with Indonesia's world number one combination of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon.
In women's singles, sixth seeded Sindhu is placed in Group J with Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong and Kesinia Polikarpova, a Russia-born Israeli player. Though the 26-year-old Indian may not break much sweat in topping her group, problems will start for her in the first knockout round, which is the Round of 16.
If things go as per seeding, she is likely to face Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt, who was ranked 11th in the world a couple of years ago, in the pre-quarter finals. Mia had sent Sindhu packing from the Thailand Open, beating her in the opening round in January.
If Sindhu gets past the dangerous Dane, she may run into former world number one Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the quarter-finals.
Things will be tricky for Sai Praneeth too, as he has been drawn in Group D and slated to face Hong Kong's Ng Ka Long Angus in Round of 16 and, if successful, will meet top seed and home favourite Kento Momota in the quarters. IANS