BWF World Championships: Lakshya Sen moves up, Sai Praneeth goes down fighting

B Sai Praneeth
B Sai Praneeth makes a return to Chou Tien Chen. Photo: AFP/Richard A Brooks

Tokyo: Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen continued his impressive run, trouncing Danish Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in straight games, to progress to the men's singles second round at BWF World Championships here on Monday.

India also registered wins in women's and mixed doubles competition on the opening day which saw B Sai Praneeth bow out after losing in three games to world No. 4 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.

The 20-year-old Sen, who had returned with a bronze on his debut in Spain last year, prevailed 21-12, 21-11 over an erratic Vittinghus in his opening match.

Earlier, Praneeth, a 2019 bronze medallist, put up a brave effort before going down 15-21, 21-15, 15-21 to Chen in little over an hour.

It was yet another forgettable outing in Tokyo for Praneeth, following his struggles at last year's Olympic Games, where he participated without a proper coach or physio to bow out early.

Among others, B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri lost 11-21, 21-19, 15-21 to Masayuki Onodera and Hiroki Okamura in men's doubles.

In women's singles, Malvika Bansod also bowed out in the opening round after losing 14-21, 12-21 to Denmark's Line Christophersen.

However, former Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy progressed to the women's doubles second round with a 21-7, 21-9 win over Maldives' Aminath Nabeeha Abdul Razzaq and Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq.

Ashwini and Sikki will face the uphill task of taming top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China in the second round.

In mixed doubles, Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar defeated German duo of Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann 21-13, 21-13 in 29 minutes to also make a positive start to their campaign.

The Indian pair will meet 14th seeds Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran of Thailand next.

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