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Saina, Popat have it easy

March 22, 2006 19:59 IST

After a stellar display in the mixed team event, India's shuttlers maintained the fine run in individual badminton tournament at the 18th Commonwealth Games, with all of them making it to the pre-quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Saina Nehwal, who shone in the team event beating the gold and silver medallists of the Manchester Games, continued to impress even as Aparna Popat and fourth seed Chetan Anand reached the last 16 in women's and men's draw respectively.

Last edition's bronze medallist Popat scored a 21-13, 21-12 victory over Julia Wong of Malaysia to advance to the pre-quarter-finals in the women's singles.

The seasoned Popat, however, has a tough task ahead as she faces defending gold medallist Li Li of Singapore in the next round on Thursday.

Sixteen-year-old Saina, who upset the top two seeds in the mixed team event earlier, had no problems against Thilini Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka.

She stormed into the round of 16 with a convincing 21-7, 21-11 victory.

The unseeded Indian set up a pre-quarter-final clash with world no 29 Aiying Xing of Singapore.

In another women's singles match Trupti Murgunde trounced Alissa Dean 21-2, 21-8 and will meet Susan Hughes of Scotland next.

Fourth seed Chetan Anand, who got a bye in the first round, started his medal quest in style, trouncing Isle of Man's Matthew John Wilkinson 21-7, 21-10.

World no 22 Anand will take on Stephan Beeharry in the round of 16 on Thursday.

In another men's singles match, National champion Anup Sridhar notched a 21-11, 21-2 win over Jonathan Neil Morgan of Wales.

Sridhar will clash with New Zealand's top ranked player Geoffrey Bellingham in the pre-quarters.

However, in the mixed doubles event, Chetan's better half Jwala Gutta, pairing with V Diju, lost to the Singaporean duo of Susilo Ronaldo and Yanmei Jiang 14-21, 18-21.

Results (second round singles):

Men: Anup Sridhar bt Jonathan Neil Morgan 21-11 21-2; Chetan Anand bt Matthew John Wilkinson (Isle of Man) 21-7, 21-10

Women: Trupti Murgunde bt Alissa Dean (Fiji) 21-2, 21-8; Saina Nehwal bt Thilini jayasinghe (Sri) 21-7, 21-11; Aparna Popat bt Pei Xian Julia Wong (Malaysia) 21-13, 21-12.

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