Kidambi Srikanth stunned World No 5 Jan O Jorgensen in straight games to move forward to the quarterfinals in the men’s singles event of the Rio 2016 Olympics. He beat the Dane 21-19, 21-19 in the round of 16 and has now set up a clash with China’s Lin Dan.
1909 hrs IST: Saved one. One more opportunity to win it. And he does. Srikanth with a smash into open court and he hugs Gopichand in celebration! Wins it 21-19, 21-19
1908 hrs IST: Srikanth with a smash down the line and brings up match point. 20-18
1907 hrs IST: Squanders that point. Was Srikanth’s for the taking but rushed into it a tad. Jorgensen leads 18-17
1906 hrs IST: Srikanth with lovely attacking play to win three points on the trot. 17-17
1904 hrs IST: Loud cheers of India, India as Srikanth draws comeback in second game. Still down 14-17
1858 hrs IST: Srikanth’s smash kisses the line and he leads 11-10
1857 hrs IST: Good play by Srikanth to build up the play and then go for the kill. 10-10
1857 hrs IST: Srikanth breaks the streak as Jorgensen goes wide
1856 hrs IST: Six points in a row for the Dane. He leads 10-8
1856 hrs IST: Jorgensen with lovely fiercely hit smash to equal matters at 8-8
1855 hrs IST: This time Jorgensen sends smash into the body and it isn’t returned
1854 hrs IST: But that has been slashed to two points with Jorgensen forcing Srikanth to make an error after picking up two glorious shots on backhand and then forehand
1854 hrs IST: The Indian has started the better of the two in this second set. Takes an early 8-4 lead
1851 hrs IST: Srikanth has always won the first set against Jorgensen and won 1, lost 2. Time to make it 2-2?
1846 hrs IST: Srikanth wins the first set 21-19 with angled half smash down the line
1846 hrs IST: Misjudged by Srikanth and the shuttle lands in. 19-20. One set point saved
1845 hrs IST: Srikanth with lovely angled smash to bring up set point. 20-18
1844 hrs IST: Srikanth sends backhand push near the line. Lines judge calls it in while Jorgensen asks for review. And he’s right. 18-19
1844 hrs IST: Srikanth displaying his own triple jump smashes to extend lead to 19-17
1843 hrs IST: Once again the gap down to two with Jorgensen jumping high to give himself the power in the smash and it isn’t returned
1843 hrs IST: Jorgensen’s push from the near the net goes long and Srikanth leads 18-16
1840 hrs IST: Srikanth in the lead now. Doing well with his attacking play and clever touches at the net to keep Jorgensen at bay. Still little room to breathe. Up 16-14
1835 hrs IST: Helped by the let-chord, Srikanth leads 11-9 in the first set
1835 hrs IST: Jorgensen has brought it all even with good play and it is 9-9
1831 hrs IST: Superb point with both Srikanth and Jorgensen going side-to-side, front and back before Srikanth air shots it. Leads 6-5
1827 hrs IST: Players on court now. Jorgensen starts by winning the first two points
1804 hrs IST: As you wait, why not check India’s day 10 schedule. There’s lots to come! Also, Renjith Maheshwary’s triple jump qualifying is underway.
1752 hrs IST: The match was scheduled to start at 5.30 PM IST but the match prior to it is going the distance. Into the third set now
India’s premier shuttler Saina Nehwal suffered a shock exit while Kidambi Srikanth won his group round match in the Rio Olympics here on Sunday.
Saina’s defeat was a huge upset against World No.61 Marija Ulitina of Ukraine in her second match of Group G as she was eliminated, losing 18-21, 19-21 at the Rio Centro.
In the men’s category, Srikanth outplayed Henri Hurskainen of Sweden 21-6, 21-18 in his group H preliminaries encounter. The only Indian to qualify in the men’s singles event had previously beaten Lino Munoz of Mexico 2-0 in his campaign opener.
Ulitina, 24, effected a shock win against the World No.5 and 2012 London Games bronze medallist Saina.
The 26-year-old Indian, a top medal contender, failed to find her rhythm and looked slow as she was not moving well within the court. Saina also conceded a lot of points on misjudgement and was not able to retrieve once the shuttle moved behind her.
Saina started the first game in a dominating way building a 7-1 lead but the 24-year-old Ukrainian soon pulled up her socks levelling the game at 8-8.
Saina just edged past the mid-game interval with a two-point lead. After the interval there was a neck-to-neck fight for every point, levelling the score at 17-17 before the World No.61 took three point of trot.
Saina tried to fight back but Ulitina sealed the game 21-18 in 19 minutes at Pavillion Four of Riocentro.
In the second game, the Indian star shuttler barely managed a slender one-point lead at the mid-game interval.
The second game saw many tough shots and some thunderous body and diagonal smashes by Ulitina.
After the interval, things were equal at 15-15, 18-18 and 19-19 before the Ukrainian clinched two points and the match, ending the Indian’s hopes.
Srikanth’s performance was diametrically opposite of Saina’s.
In a lop-sided first game, the Guntur-born player got off to a brilliant start as he raced away with a 11-2 lead with some solid net play and cross-court smashes before wrapping up the first game in his favour.
The second game was an example of Srikanth’s tenacity and patience. By virtue of his exceptional defensive skills, the Sweden player managed to stay in touch with the Indian.
After few exchanges till the mid-half of the second game, the Indian shuttler showed some good skills with the combination of his diagonal shot and down the line smashes to take a 18-15 lead.
In the last few points, there was stiff competition but Srikanth overpowered his opponent to clinch the issue comfortably.