Pro Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal beat crushed Vicente Lohaynny 21-17, 21-17 in her opening Group C match in the women singles event on Thursday in Rio 2016.
Vicente Lohaynny gave Saina a tough fight. Lohaynny being 5-9 down, fought back leveling the game at 10-10. Saina just edged past the mid-game interval with a one point lead.
At 17-17 level, the Indian took four points on the trot and clinched the first game 21-17 in a well-battled 20 minutes.
In the early minutes of the second game, Saina started to build her dominance in the court taking a 11-5 lead to the mid-game interval.
In the later half of the second game, the Brazlian tried to fight back, but Saina continued to dominate and took three points on the trot, securing herself with seven match points before she took the second game 21-17 in 19 minutes.
Other than Saina Nehwal, Shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth made winning starts in their women’s and men’s singles badminton campaign, whereas the mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna advanced to the quarterfinal. These were the only winners in India’s Olympic contingent on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro in Rio 2016.
Sindhu marked the start of badminton at the Games with a facile win in the women’s individual competition. She brushed aside her opponent Laura Sarosi of Hungary 21-8, 21-9, starting off on a superb note and managing to hold onto the advantage.
At the Olympic Hockey Centre in Deodoro Park, India progressed to the men’s hockey quarter-finals for the first time since 1980 Moscow Games, even after a 1-2 defeat to the world No 2, Netherlands.
After the completion of round four, Indian team is at third spot in the standings with six points, four points behind the leaders; Netherlands and Germany and a point ahead of Argentina. India booked the knock-out spot, since fifth placed Ireland won’t be able to overtake them anymore with just a game left in the group stage.