India's Parupalli Kashyap progressed to the men's singles pre-quarterfinals while mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V. Diju lost their third consecutive group match to be ousted from Olympic badminton competitions here Tuesday.
Kashyap displayed sublime skills to defeat his higher-ranked opponent and tenth seeded Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam 21-9, 21-14 in 39 minutes at the Wembley Arena to top Group D in style. With the win, Kashyap equalled his head-to-head record against Nguyen 3-3. Prior to the match, he had not beaten the Vietnamese since June 2010.
Meanwhile, the pairing of Jwala-Diju lost their third and final group match 15-21, 15-21 in 27 minutes against World No.9 pair of Ha Jung Eun and Lee Yong Dae of South Korea to end fourth and last in Group D. The win came as a consolation for the South Koreans who are also out of the tournament.
For Kashyap, the first game started with a neck-to-neck fight as neither player could hold serve as the score read 6-5 in favour of the Indian.
The 25-year-old found his legs and started extending his lead with the help of some exquisite drop shots and in no time went ahead 16-7. Aided by some good smashes, the Indian gained an 11-point advantage at 20-9 before sealing the game.
In the second game, Nguyen put up a better show early on as the scoreboard read 7-7.
Like in the first game, Kashyap with his fast court movement and effective smashes started dominating the World No.11 and took a lead of 18-12 from where there was no looking back and won the game in 19 minutes.
Throughout the match, the World No.21 was impressive at the net and steady from the back, hitting a mix of shots which befuddled his Vietnamese opponent.
The Indian will next face Group C topper Sri Lankan Niluka Karunaratne, whom Kashyap had beaten in Stockholm earlier this year in their only encounter.
In mixed doubles, Jwala and Diju were no match for the South Korean opponents. The east Asians took an early lead of 5-12 in five minutes at the start of the first game.
Ha-Lee raced to 9-20 but were halted by the Indian pair who then took six consecutive points to bring back some hope. But an error from Jwala saw them lose the first game in eleven minutes.
The World No.13 pair improved their performance in the second game and led a neck-to-neck fight till 12-12. However, Ha-Lee upped their game and raced away to game point 15-20 and clinched the game in 13 minutes.
This was Jwala-Diju's second loss out of three encounters against their opponents.
Jwala was quite tired after her women's doubles match which she played late Monday evening. She has her last group match later Tuesday with Ashwini Ponnappa which they need to win to qualify for the quarterfinals.
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