Palembang: India’s singles specialists, including second seed Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina, made impressive starts to their campaign, progressing to the pre-quarterfinals of the tennis event at the 18th Asian Games here Monday. Ramanathan beat Hong Kong’s 6-0, 7-6(7-4) while in another men’s singles match Prajnesh Gunneswaran brushed aside Indonesia’s Rifqi M Fitriadi 6-2, 6-0. Earlier in the day in the women’s singles event Ankita trounced Beatrice Gumulya 6-2, 6-4 while Karman Kaur Thandi whipped Mongolian Jargal Altansarnai, 6-1, 6-0.
In men’s doubles, Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal cleared the opening hurdle defeating Nepal’s Abhishek Batola and Samrakshy Bajracharya 6-1, 6-1. However, in women’s doubles Rutuja Bhonsale and Pranjala Yadlapalli lost to Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech and Nicha Lertpitaksinchai 6-4, 3-6, 9-11. In another men’s doubles match Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan overcame the Indonesian pair of Ignatius Anthony Susanto and David Agung Susanto, 6-3, 6-3.
India today assured themselves of a maiden Asian Games medal in sepak takraw by progressing to the semifinals with a win over Iran, here. India defeated Iran 21-16, 19-21, 21- 17 in the first match to make a winning start to their campaign. They, however, lost to Indonesia 0-3 in the second match of the day, but by finishing second in the group they entered the last four stage.
In a major upset, seven-time gold medallist India suffered their first ever loss in the Asian Games to South Korea 23-24 in men’s kabaddi Group A game Monday at Jakarta. This is the first defeat for India in 28 years at the Asian Games. India had defeated Bangladesh 50-21 in a group game Sunday. Now they must win their last preliminary game against Thailand to remain in contention.
In the women’s event, India continued their unbeaten streak cruising past Thailand 33-23 in their second group game. In the first match they had beaten Japan 43-12.