In a fiercely contested third-round match of the BWF World Championships in Tokyo, HS Prannoy came from behind to defeat the outstanding Lakshya Sen 17-21, 21-16, 21-17. Prannoy resisted the assault of the quickly developing teenager and is now one victory away from earning his first medal at the World Championships.

Both the men’s doubles pairs of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, and Chirag Shetty advanced to the final eight. However, Saina Nehwal’s campaign ended with a defeat against Busanan Ongbamrunghphan of Thailand (17-21, 21-16, 13-21).

Prannoy acknowledged that playing Lakshya was challenging but said that it was always challenging. He is one player who made significant progress in the previous year, and playing who has performed very well over the past six months is tough. It feels fantastic to achieve two victories in a row over challenging opponents.

Lakshya, who took home a bronze medal in the previous competition, got things going quickly and easily won the opening match. Prannoy was only inside a point until the eighth. Lakshya promptly jumped up to 14-8 at this point as Prannoy made a few mistakes. Prannoy made a valiant effort to salvage three game points from 14 to 20, but it was too late.

Until the second quarter, when Prannoy scored four straight points to put the game beyond Lakshya, the score was 16-15. In the third game, Prannoy scored points relatively quickly, giving the impression that he was more at ease. At one point, he had a 19–14 advantage, and despite Lakshya’s final effort to close the gap to two points, Prannoy scored two crucial points to guarantee a quarterfinal matchup with Zhao Jun Peng of China.

Doubles Journey

Arjun and Dhruv gave India a winning start by defeating Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean 18-21, 21-15, 21-16 in BWF. After dropping the first game, the team fared well in tackling their aggressive opponents. But the pair is now confident after recording significant victories in the competition.

In just 35 minutes, Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede of Denmark were destroyed by seventh seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. The scores were 21-12 and 21-10. Takuro Hoki and Yogo Kobayashi of Japan, the second seeds and defending world champions, stand in their way.

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