Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost 21-13, 21-12 to top-ranked Indonesians Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in their Group A encounter at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday. The match lasted just 31 minutes.
Satwik and Chirag will now have to beat Great Britain’s Ben Lane and Sean Vendy for a place in the quarterfinals. Lane and Vendy have lost both their matches so far.
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The Indian pair, currently world no. 10, matched their fancied rivals until 7-7 in both games before being blown away. The difference in class between the two teams was quite evident. The Indonesians were ready for the usually aggressive Satwik and anticipated Chirag’s placements. They moved from defence to attack in quick time and were simply brilliant with their interception at the net.
The Indians did lead in the early part of the second game. A suspected toe injury to Chirag saw a brief stoppage in play but once the match resumed, there was no stopping the top seeds.
End of road for Praneeth
Meanwhile, Dutchman Mark Cajouw’s 17-21, 21-9, 21-10 victory over Israel’s Misha Zilberman has shut the door on B. Sai Praneeth’s progress.
Praneeth, who lost to Zilberman in straight games in the campaign-opener, can at best beat Cajlouw in straight games in their final league encounter and force a three-way tie. But that will only help Zilberman qualify ahead of Praeenth and Cajlouw on game difference – the margin between games won and games lost. For Cajlouw to qualify for the Elimination round, he needs to beat Praneeth.