P V Sindhu remains India’s lone medal hope in the badminton event after Kidambi Srikanth suffered a fighting loss against two-time defending champion Lin Dan in the men’s singles quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics here today.
Sindhu scripted a stellar 22-20, 21-19 win against former world number one and London Games silver medallist Wang Yihan to enter the women’s semifinals. A win against Japan’s Nozomo Okuhara in the semifinal tomorrow will assure Sindhu of a historic medal.
However, India’s campaign in the men’s singles ended today after Srikanth, who had beaten the five-time World Champion Lin Dan in the 2014 China Open final, suffered a 6-21 21-11 18-21 loss against the World No. 3 in a nerve-wrecking quarterfinal.
Lin Dan will now take on his long-time rival and two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in a mouth-watering semifinal clash. The top seed beat sixth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-9 21-15.
Srikanth thus remained the second Indian male shuttler to reach the quarterfinals after Parupalli Kashyap achieved the feat at the London Games.
A former World No. 3, Srikanth seemed nervous early on and was totally outclassed in the lop-sided opening game which lasted just 16 minutes.