Saina Nehwal makes the first round exit from All England; Olympic qualification bid takes a hit

BIRMINGHAM: Indian Badminton Star Saina Nehwal Her chances of qualifying for the Olympics were affected after she exited the first round of the England Championship, following a loss to the Japanese enemy. Akane Yamaguchi .

Facing world number three Yamaguchi, it was a tough opening round for Saina, who lost 11-21 8-21 in just 28 minutes on Wednesday.

However, on men's singles, Lakshya Sen prevailed over Hong Kong's Cheuk Yiu Lee 17-21 21-8 21-17 in a grueling first round, which lasted 59 minutes. Sen will now face Denmark's second seed and world number seven Viktor Axelsen for a place in the quarterfinals.

Saina is ranked 20th in the BWF standings with 46267 points and the bronze medalist for the London 2012 Olympics must enter the top 16 group by April 28 to reach the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Now he needs strong performances to rack up crucial ranking points, but considering that various sporting events are being canceled in light of the novel and deadly coronavirus outbreak, it remains to be seen how many he will actually play.

The 29-year-old is slated to compete in the Swiss Open (March 17-22), the Indian Open (March 24-29) and the Malaysian Open (March 31-April 5) in the coming years. weeks.

It was Saina's ninth loss in 11 games against the formidable Japanese and her third first-round outing this season.

With the defeat of Saina, the current world champion PV Sindhu is the only Indian left in the individual female table. Sindhu beat American Beiwin Zhang in consecutive games on Wednesday.

Sen, 18, is the only Indian in dispute in the men's singles draw when P Kashyap withdrew from his first-round contest against Shesar Hiren Rhustavito and B Sai Praneeth he lost his on Wednesday.

Kashyap's match lasted only a minute. He was behind 0-3 when he decided to quit.

In women's doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy will open their campaign against the British couple of Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams.

Pranaav's mixed doubles pair Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy advanced to the second round when the Chinese pair of Si Wei Zheng and Ya Qiong Huang retired while staying 4-5.