Korea Open: Indian shutlers falter in qualifiers, Saina and Sameer lead Indian challenge

Seoul: Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma will lead the Indian challenge at the $600,000 Korea Open Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 500 Series tournament which began today, after young shutlers falter in qualifiers.

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Ajay Jayaram failed to qualify for the main draws after he lost in the qualifying round to  China’s Zhao Junpeng today.He lost the match  26-24 21-18 in the men’s singles qualifiers.

Image source- http://sportsbeatsindia.com/player/vaidehi-choudhari/

Young Vaidehi Choudhari went down without a fight to Kim Ga Eun of Korea 21-8 21-8.

Image source- TOI

Mugdha Agrey was knocked out by former world number one Chinese LI Xuerui 21-8 21-8, in the women’s singles.

Saina, who had skipped the Japan Open earlier this month after winning a bronze at 18th Asian Games, will look to get over the disappointment of her first-round exit at China last week when she takes on Korean Kim Hyo Min.

Image source- REUTERS

 Fifth seeded Saina, ranked 10th in the world, has done well in the major events this year, grabbing a second gold at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the Jakarta Asian Games. But the Indian has been inconsistent in the BWF events. She reached the finals at the $350,000 Indonesia Masters in January. She lost to Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun last week at China and will have a tough task at hand as she is likely to face third seed Japanese Nozomi Okuhara in the quarterfinals.

Image source- REUTERS

In men’s singles, Sameer Verma will carry the Indian flag after Kidambi Srikanth pulled out after playing back-to-back tournaments in Japan and China in the last two weeks. Sameer has been troubled by injuries lately but he has done well when he has been fit.  He won Swiss Open in February and Hyderabad Open early this month. The 23-year-old, who had finished runners-up at 2016 Hong Kong Open, will play Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in his opening match. He had beaten the Danish shuttler at India Open in January this year. If the Indian crosses the opening round, he is expected to meet reigning world champion Kento Momota of Japan.

 

(Source- Dailyhunt)