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Asian C’ship: Sindhu and Saina advance, Srikanth exits

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Wuhan (China), April 24: Ace India shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Sameer Verma registered victories in their first round matches on Wednesday to advance to the pre-quarterfinal Badminton Asian Championship. However, it was the end of the road for Kidambi Srikanth who made an early exit.

Rio Olympics' silver medallist Sindhu defeated World No 13 Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in straight games and will face Choirunnisa of Indonesia in the next round. Sindhu knocked out her opponent 21-14, 21-7 in a short 28-minute affair.

Saina, however, faced a tough fight from China's Han Yue, who won the opening game 12-21. The Indian then made a comeback in the contest which lasted for 61 minutes as she managed to win the next two games 21-11, 21-17 to enter the pre-quarters.

In a men's singles contest, Sameer had to overcome some stiff resistance from Japan's Kazumasa Sakai. Despite wining the first game 21-13, Sameer was at the receiving end in the second one as he lost 17-21 before managing a hard fought 21-18 win in the third and  final game.

However, Srikanth suffered an early exit from the tournament after going down 16-21, 20-22 to Indonesia's Shesar Rhustavito in another first round match of the men's singles.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Indian women's doubles pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S. Ram lost 13-21, 16-21 to Thailand's Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.