The two-time Olympic medalist and former world champion PV Sindhu secured a spot in the pre-quarterfinals of the ongoing Madrid Spain Masters badminton tournament following a win over Canada’s Wen Yu Zhang in her first-round game on Wednesday. The second-seeded Sindhu defeated world number 49 Zhang 21-16, 21-12, in 30 minutes to book her round of 16 spot. Currently placed at 11th in world rankings, Sindhu’s next challenge will be world No. 63 Huang Yu-Husn of Chinese Taipei, as per the

Ashmita Chaliha, another challenger for India in the women’s singles, crashed out in the first round following a loss to Ratchanok Intanon 21-13, 21-11 in 28 minutes.

India also had a disappointing start in the men’s singles event as Sathish Kumar Karunakaran lost his closely fought first-round match to Jason Teh of Indonesia, the 56th-ranked shuttler.

Karunakaran also teamed up with Aadya Variath in mixed doubles competition, in a losing effort against Indonesia’s Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Menthari. The Indian duo lost their match 21-18, 21-14.

Following Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen’s withdrawal, Kidambi Srikanth, who was the spearhead of India’s men’s singles challenge in this tournament, registered a 21-18, 21-15 loss to Japan’s Koo Takahashi in the first round.

Mithun Manjunath also lost his first-round game against Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei 21-11, 21-12, while the mixed doubles duo of BS Reddy-N Sikki Reddy marched into pre-quarters following a 16-21, 22-20, 21-14 win over Chinese Taipei’s Chen Zhi Ray and Yang Ching Tun.

The tournament started on March 26 and will end on March 31.

The Madrid Spain Masters 2024 offers players ranking points for the Paris 2024 Olympics, taking place from July-August this year. The ranking period for badminton began on May 1, 2023, and will end next month.

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