Niluka loses his first game
Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne lost his opening men’s single group ‘P’ match of the XXX1st Olympic Games badminton completion to China’s Long Chen at Riocentro Pavilion Four here on Thursday. Chen took just 40 minutes to win in straight sets 2-0.
The match got off to a surprisingly delayed start, which is rare in Olympic completion, as the previous matches of the scheduled court had taken a longer duration. Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s undisputed men’s single champion on 14 occasions could not offer much in the first set as London Olympics bronze medallist Chen had an easy 21-7 victory in 19 minutes.
But Karunaratne fought back early in the second set and the scores were tied five-all at one stage.
But Chen, the two-time world champion who is among the top ranked badminton players in the world, used all his experience to cut loose and go past Karunaratne 21-10 in 21 at the end. “It was a tough hurdle and I tried my best against a world class champion.
But I hope to do perform better in the next match,” he told the media after the match.
Karunaratne will now meet Kevin Cordon of Guatemala in his second group ‘P’ match to be worked off on Friday at 7.30 pm local time (4 am SL time on Saturday).
The Lankan national champion’s last group match will be against Adrian Dziolko of Poland, ranked 58th in the world. It will be played on Sunday at 3.55 pm local time (12.25 am SL time on Monday).
Defending men’s singles badminton champion Lin Dan of China needed just 34 minutes to cleat his first hurdle today. He launched his triple Olympic crown campaign in style, crushing David Obernosterer of Austria in straight sets 21-5, 21-11 in their group ‘E’ first round match.