Lakshya Sen Withdrawal Shakes Indian Prospects at Hong Kong Open 2023

Hong Kong Open 2023, Lakshya Sen

In a surprising turn of events, Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen withdrew from the Hong Kong Open 2023. This withdrawal casts a shadow over India’s representation at this prestigious badminton event. His absence dealt a blow to India’s hopes in the competition, leaving fans and fellow players disappointed.

Lakshya Sen, the Commonwealth Games champion was the eighth seed in the men’s singles category. He was India’s standout player at the Hong Kong Open. However, he made the unexpected decision to withdraw just hours before his scheduled match, handing his opponent, Su Li Yang of Chinese Taipei, a walkover.

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Indian Contingent Skip Hong Kong Open

It’s worth noting that besides Lakshya Sen, several other top Indian badminton players chose to skip the Hong Kong Open 2023. This decision has raised questions about the factors influencing their choices. Notable absentees include PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy, and Kidambi Srikanth. The absence of these prominent players had already lowered India’s chances at the tournament.

With Lakshya Sen’s withdrawal, the burden of carrying Indian hopes in men’s singles fell on Priyanshu Rajawat. Unfortunately, Rajawat couldn’t maintain India’s presence in the category for long. He bowed out in the first round, facing a defeat with scores of 13-21, 14-21 against Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan, further dimming India’s prospects in the tournament.

Women’s Doubles Shine
While Indian singles players faced early exits, the women’s doubles category provided a glimmer of hope. The duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto showcased their prowess by advancing to the pre-quarterfinals. They secured a hard-fought victory with scores of 21-19, 21-19 against the higher-ranked Chinese Taipei pair of Lee Chia Hsin and Teng Chun Hsun, defying the odds.

Mixed Fortunes in Mixed Doubles

In mixed doubles, it was a mixed bag for the Indian pairs. Ashwini Ponnappa and Reddy B. Sumeeth put up a spirited fight against the world No. 9 pair from Malaysia, Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei. However, they narrowly lost the match with scores of 16-21, 21-16, 18-21 in the round of 32.

On the other hand, Sikki Reddy and Rohan Kapoor faced disappointment as they succumbed to a 19-21, 10-21 defeat against Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Tan Wei Han Jessica in the first round.

Indian women’s singles players had a tough day at the office. Zhang Yi Man of the People’s Republic of China dominated Malvika Bansod with scores of 21-14, 21-12 in the first round. Aakarshi Kashyap also faced an early exit after losing to Yvonne Li of Germany with scores of 18-21, 10-21.

In men’s doubles, the Indian duo of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala fought hard but ultimately lost 14-21, 19-21 to South Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol in the opening round, adding to India’s challenges in doubles events.

With India’s campaign in various categories already concluded, only two Indian women’s doubles teams, Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly and Ashwini Ponnappa/Tanisha Crasto, will continue to compete in the Hong Kong Open. They carry the hopes of the nation in their respective matches.

Olympic Qualification Impact
It’s essential to note that the results at the Hong Kong Open 2023 will contribute significantly to the qualifying rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympics. This adds an extra layer of significance to the tournament, making every match crucial for players aiming for Olympic participation.