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Kidambi Srikanth on Friday became the third Indian to win a medal in the badminton World Championships as he stormed past Netherlands’ Mark Caljouw to reach the semi-finals in Huelva, Spain. In a match that lasted just minutes, Srikanth beat Caljouw 21-8, 21-7.

This was the first time that Srikanth was facing Caljouw. Srikanth was dominant early on in the first game, leading 11-5 at the interval. Srikanth kept up the intensity, not allowing the Dutchman to get into double digits as he took the first game without breaking much sweat.

Srikanth was even more dominant in the second game, leading 11-3 at the interval. Caljouw hardly had any answers as a resurgent Srikanth continued the one-way procession and took the second game by an even bigger margin.

Prakash Padukone’s bronze in 1983 was India’s first ever medal at the World Championships after which B Sai Praneeth won bronze in 2019, which was also the year that PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win gold at the prestigious tournament.

Meanwhile, Sindhu’s title defence at the World Championships ended in the quarter-final as she lost to World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying at the Carolina Marin Stadium in Huelva on Friday. Sindhu was outclassed in 42 minutes as she went down in straight games – 17-21, 13-21.

It was Sindhu’s 5th straight defeat to Tai Tzu Ying as the Taiwanese star extended her head-to-head record against the Indian shutter 15-5. Notably, Sindhu had lost the Tokyo Olympics semi-final to her familiar foe, who has assured herself a first medal at the world championships.

HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen are the other two Indians in the fray for the quarter-finals. The 20-year-old Lakshya was dominant against Kevin Cordon, beating the Guatamelan 21-13, 21-8 in a match that lasted just 32 minutes. Prannoy, on the other hand, played an epic pre-quarterfinal match against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke. In an epic match that lasted one hour and 16 minutes, Prannoy won 16-21, 21-8, 22-20.

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India today

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