After all the struggle and hard work to edge past compatriot Ajay Jayaram to qualify for the Olympic Games, Parupalli Kashyap finally booked his London berth without even having to play a point yesterday. He was given a walkover by China’s Chen Jin in the quarter-finals, who also qualified for the London Games as Peter Gade lost his singles match, of the India Open Super Series
Kashyap is also the first Indian player in the men’s singles to play the semi-finals in a superseries event. And his qualification now means that Jayaram, who was ahead in points till now and was awaiting the result of the Kashyap—Jin match, will now miss out on London. An ecstatic Kashyap thanked his stars for this benevolence from Jin.
“I cant believe my luck. I was all set to play the match when I was told in the evening about the withdrawal due to “swollen hand” of Chen Jin. What can I say except thank you. It will be hard for Jayaram and I feel bad for him. But then this bit of luck has come my way and I can only thank my stars. I was well prepared for my match, but then who knows what the outcome would have been. It has all been so confusing.”
Meanwhile, India lost all the other three quarter-final matches yesterday. Young national champion PV Sindhu showcased her great qualities against third seeded Lii Xeurli but was defeated 21-18, 12-21, 18-21 in 67 minutes by the Chinese. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lost their doubles tie to third seeded Japanese pair of Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna 21-19, 13-21, 14-21. But the fact that they reached the quarters means they are sure shot qualifiers for London.