Saina Nehwal, a London Games bronze medallist and PV Sindhy made resounding starts to their singles campaign in badminton at the Rio Olympics. On the other hand, it was a dismal day for India's doubles players on Thursday, 11 August.
Saina, a former world no. 1, staved off a spirited challenge from world no. 73 Vicente Lohaynny, 21-17, 21-17. The match lasted just 39 minutes at the Rio Centre. Saina will next take on world no. 61 Maria Ulitina of Ukraine in her Group G match on 14 August.
Sidhu, ranked ninth, also had a good day in the office. She thumped Laura Sarosi of Hungary 21-8, 21-9, in her Group B encounter. This match lasted just 27 minutes. Sidhu will next face Glasgow Commonwealth Games champion Li Michelle of Canada on 14 August
Earlier in the day, the Indian combination of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa got off to a disappointing start in the women's doubles event, losing 15-21, 10-21 to the World No.1 Japanese pair of Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsumoto. This Group A opener lasted 36 minutes. in a match which lasted 36 minutes in their Group A opener. The Indians will next be up against the world No.11 Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in their second group clash on Friday.
In the men's doubles competition, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost 18-21, 13-21 to World No.2 Indonesian duo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
- With inputs from PTI