Srikanth crashes out, grappler Vinesh injured on day of woes

By Tapan Mohanta Rio de Janeiro, Aug 17 (PTI) On another disappointing dayfor India at the Rio Olympics, Kidambi Srikanth crashed out ofbadminton men’s singles and woman grappler Vinesh Phogat wasstretchered off the mat after suffering a knee dislocation inher 48kg quarterfinal bout here today. Another woman grappler — Sakshi Malik lost herquarterfinal bout to Russia’s Valeriia Koblova even afterdoing well in the initial two rounds. Woman half miler Tintu Luka ran a poorly judged 800m raceand exited from the fray after finishing sixth in her firstround heat in 2:00.58 which gave her the overall 29th placefrom 65 participants. A protege of track legend P T Usha, she holds thenational record of 1:59.17 which she created in 2010. As usual she led the field till around 600m before fadingon the final stretch to end her second Olympics campaign indisappointment. The day commenced with the elimination of Srikanth, whowent down fighting against defending champion Lin Dan to dashIndia’s hopes of a medal. Taking the court a day after compatriot P V Sindhu hadknocked out another top Chinese shuttler Wang Yihan to enterthe women’s singles semis, Srikanth gave Super Dan a toughtime before going down 6-21 21-11 18-21 against the World No.3 Chinese and made his exit from the competition. The 21-year-old Hyderabad shuttler’s elimination afterhis loss to Dan in an hour and four minutes in thequarterfinals has left Sindhu as the lone Indian out of sevenentrants in the fray in badminton. Sindhu is to take on Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara tomorrow fora place in the final. A victory would guarantee the tall woman at least asilver and a loss would propel her into the bronze medalplay-off with the loser of the other semi final between LiXuerei of China, the defending champion, and Spain’s CarolinaMarin, world no.1. Away from badminton, women grapplers — Vinesh andSakshi — crossed the first hurdle by registering contrastingvictories in their respective weight divisions. It was an easy outing for Vinesh in 48kg category as shethrashed Emilia Alina Vuc of Romania 11-0 by technicalsuperiority to enter the quarterfinals. Unfortunately Vinesh’s progress was halted when shesuffered a knee dislocation in her quarterfinal fight againstChinese rival Sun Yanan and the bout had to be stopped. A visibly hurt Vinesh, who winced in pain when herChinese rival got a leg hold and twisted her, was taken awayin a stretcher for medical attention. "We are all awaiting the MRI report but she cannot fightagain," said Indian contingent’s chef de mission, RakeshGupta. (MORE) PTI TAP SSR CMSSR

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