Abhinn Shyam Gupta stuns the top favorite to enter the quarterfinals of All India Masters Badminton

NAGPUR: former national champion of single men Abhinn Shyam Gupta stamped his authority on the veteran category too. The 2004 Athens Olympic athlete achieved a couple of easy victories to reach the individual quarter-final quarterfinals of more than 40 men on the opening day of the Yonex-Sunrise All India Masters (35 to 75 years old) Qualification Badminton tournament that started on Sunday at Dhanwate National College Hall.

Gupta launched his campaign by firing Yogesh Sahasrabuddhe 21-1, 21-8 in the first round. Later in the day, it caused the greatest discomfort of the day when the Allahabad-based shutter surprised the best seeder Rudra Kaushik 21-12, 21-17 to reserve her spot in the last eight.

Gupta will face his Uttar Pradesh counterpart, Nitin Mehra, for a place in the semifinal on Monday. Mehra got the best of Vivek Kumar Kanchan from Maharashtra 16-21, 21-12, 21-12.

The second seed, Lalmuanawma, had no problem when he entered the rooms easily. The Mizoram player ejected Nikhil Khaparde 21-7, 21-6 in the second round.

Local hopes grew stronger when Kiran Makode was surprised in the first round. In an exciting male encounter of more than 50 men, Jayant Dewangan of Chhattisgarh recovered to face Makode 17-21, 21-10, 23-21 in 55 minutes.

Makode, who had represented India in the World Masters Championship on several occasions, started well and claimed the first game with 21-17. However, Dewangan organized a spectacular recovery to break Makode's hopes in the next two games.

The seven-day tournament was inaugurated by Maharashtra Badminton Association (MBA) president Arun Lakhani. MBA secretary (events) Mangesh Kashikar, NDBA vice-president Shriram Purohit, NDBA joint secretary Bhavna Agrey, tournament chief referee Vivek Saraf and other NDBA officials were present on the occasion.

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