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Srikanth shocks world No 5 to enter quarter-finals

Last updated on: August 15, 2016 20:36 IST
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The 23-year-old Guntur lad, ranked No. 11, will meet two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan on Tuesday.

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: India’s Kidambi Srikanth celebrates after defeating Jan Jorgensen of Denmark in the men’s singles badminton match at the Rio Olympics on Monday. Photograph: Marcelo del Pozo /Reuters

Kidambi Srikanth’s hopes of a medal in the men’s badminton competition at the Rio Olympics remain alive.

India’s sole men’s singles player in the tournament scored hard-fought 21-19, 21-19 victory over world No. 5 Jan Jorgensen to enter the quarter-finals on Monday.

In the process, he became only the second men’s singles player, after Parupalli Kashyap, who reached the last eight stage at the London Games in 2012, to make the grade.

Coming into the match with a 1-2 head-to-head record over the Dane, Srikanth went on the attack from the start to emerge victorious in 42 minutes.

The 23-year-old Guntur lad, ranked No. 11, will meet two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan on Tuesday.

Jorgensen forged a 3-1 lead before the Indian took control at 4-3 and after a neck and neck battle went into the break ahead 11-9.

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: India’s Kidambi Srikanth attempts a drop at the net against Jan Jorgensen of Denmark in the men’s singles badminton match at the Rio Olympics on Monday. Photograph: Marcelo del Pozo /Reuters

He then extended the lead to 17-14 before lead Jorgensen scored a couple of points with cross-court smashes to cut it down to 18-17.

An aggressive rally ended with Srikanth placing the shuttle away from Jorgensen, but he hit long next before moving into the game-point with a cross-court smash, which Jorgensen could not reach.

Jorgensen saved a point when Srikanth misjudged the flight of the shuttle and left it. The Indian, however, sealed the game with a crisp smash.

In the second game, the Srikanth continued in the same vein and led 8-4 at one stage. A few unforced errors, like sending a couple of backhands into the net, cost him points, allowing the Dane to clawe his way back and narrow the lead to 10-9 before drawing abreast at 13.

Jorgensen soon took control and Srikanth found himself trailing 14-17.

However, the Indian restored parity at 18 and went on the offensive, producing a stunning smash that took him to match-point.

An error in judgement of the shuttle saw the Dane save a match-point before Srikanth sealed the issue with another stiff smash.

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