Paralympics: Shuttlers Suhas, Tarun, Manoj enter men's singles semifinals
Indian shuttlers Suhas Yathiraj and Tarun Dhillon continued their impressive run, notching up contrasting wins in their respective second group match to qualify for the semifinals in the badminton competition of the Tokyo Paralympics on Friday. Manoj Sarkar, who competes in SL3, also qualified for the semifinals after winning his second and last group stage match at Tokyo's Yoyogi National Stadium.
Suhas will next face France's top seed Lucas Mazur
Suhas, a world number 3 in SL4 class, took 19 minutes to get rid of Indonesia's Hary Susanto 21-6 21-12 in group A, while Tarun, seeded second, recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit Korea's Shin Kyung Hwan 21-18 15-21 21-17 in a group B SL4 match. Suhas, the district magistrate of Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar, will face France's top seed, Lucas Mazur.
Tarun will next cross swords with Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan
Tarun, on the other hand, will cross swords with Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan next later in the day. With two wins out of three matches so far in their respective groups, both Suhas and Tarun have qualified for semifinals and might face-off in the knockout stage.
Manoj secured a 21-16 21-9 victory over Ukraine's Oleksandr Chyrkov
In SL3 class, Manoj secured a 21-16 21-9 victory over Oleksandr Chyrkov of Ukraine to make it to the knockout stage after finishing at the second spot in group A behind world number 1 Para-badminton player from Odisha, Pramod Bhagat. The 31-year-old, who had contracted polio at one, suffered a loss to Pramod in his opening match.
Palak and Parul suffered second successive loss in women's doubles
Earlier, Palak Kohli, 19, and Parul Parmar, 48, suffered their second successive loss in women's doubles SL3-SU5 group A, going down 12-21 20-22 to French pair of Lenaig Morin and Faustine Noel. While Suhas hardly broke any sweat during his contest, Tarun had to toil hard to edge out Shin Kyung, who recovered from an opening game reversal to grab the second game.
Tarun managed to grab a three-point lead at the interval
In the decider, Tarun made a sluggish start but managed to grab a three-point lead at the interval. The Korean managed to claw back at 17-17 but the Indian pushed his opponent to commit a series of unforced errors to first move to a comfortable three-match point and then sealed the contest when Shin Kyung again sent the shuttle wide.
Pramod has already qualified for the semifinals in SL3 class
Pramod has already qualified for the semifinals in the SL3 class. In SL classification, persons with standing/lower limb impairment/severe are allowed to compete, while SU refers to athletes with upper limb impairment.