Badminton at CWG: Defending champions India enter semifinals of mixed team event | Commonwealth Games 2022 News – Times of India

BIRMINGHAM: Defending champion India cruised to a 3-0 win over minnows South Africa to progress to the semifinals of the mixed team competition at the Commonwealth Games here on Sunday.
India expectedly didn’t put a foot wrong as they dished out yet another professional performance against South Africa to set up a likely clash with Singapore in the last four.
Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy, who had started playing together for less than a year and topped the selections trials to make it to the team, started the proceedings with a facile 21-9 21-11 win over Jarred Elliott and Deidre Jordaan to hand India a 1-0 lead.
It was a no contest as the 857th ranked pair looked cluelessly at the booming smashes of Ashwini as the Indian combination took just minutes to end its misery.
World championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen then looked in complete control as he gave a badminton lesson to Caden Kakora, an opponent ranked 355th in the world.
The 20-year-old from Almora wrapped up things 21-5 21-6, converting a whopping 16 match points with a whipping body smash to put India 2-0 ahead.
Young Aakarshi Kashyap then took the court against world number 147 Johanita Scholtz, who played a few good-looking shots to get to double figures.
However, Kashyap was always a step ahead as she made her move around the court and used her deception to good effect to prevail 21-11 21-16 as India won the fixture 3-0.
India will next face Singapore, who had returned empty handed from the last edition four years ago and would be eager to prove their mettle this time.
Led by world champion Loh Kean Yew, ranked 9th in the world, Singapore have some quality players such as world number 19 Yeo Jia Min who had reached the BWF World Tour Finals last year.
Singapore’s men’s and mixed doubles pairings are ranked 44th and 36th in the world and it will be an interesting contest even though India will be the favourites.

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