BWF World Championships: Prannoy Shocks World No. 2 Kento Momota; Srikanth Bows Out In 2nd Round

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Image Courtesy: Badminton Photo

Indian shuttling star HS Prannoy pulled off a massive feat after stunning World No. 2 and two time world champion Kento Momota in the Round of 32 stage at the ongoing 2022 BWF World Championships in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Facing off the crowd favourite Momota at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, the unseeded Prannoy marked his first win over the Japanese in eight meetings, as the 30-year-old marked a straight set 21-17, 21-16 win over his top ranked rival.

However, it was a completely opposite scenario for Kidambi Srikanth, as the CWG bronze medallist and the Thomas Cup winning team member, was bested by unseeded Chinese shuttler Zhao Junpeng earlier in the day, ending his Worlds campaign.

Srikanth, seeded 12th in the tournament who clinched a silver at the last edition, went down to a 9-21, 17-21 loss to Zhao.

“He just played well when it really mattered,” said Srikanth after his defeat, “I had my chances in the second set and if I could have won it, anything could have happened in the third set.”

“It’s just about winning the points when it really matters, and I think he played really well in the closing stages of the second set,” the 29-year-old added.

In the meantime, CWG champion Lakshya Sen earned his berth into the third round with a  21-17, 21-10 victory over Luis Enrique Penalver, while the pair of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly bowed out against the Malaysia duo of Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan 21-8, 21-17.

Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also made a second round exit, but M. R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila are through to the pre-quarterfinals. The unseeded men’s doubles pair outplayed Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 21-17, 21-16 and will face Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean next.

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