Kidambri Srikanth moves into pre-quarter at Rio

OLYMPICS-RIO-BADMINTON-M-SINGLES Srikanth stamped his authority with his strokes and also pushed his rival to make mistakes

Indian shuttler Kidambri Srikanth continued his winning streak by beating Sweden's Henri Hurskainen 21-6, 21-18 in a group match on Sunday to reach the men's singles pre-quarterfinals at Rio Olympics.

With Sunday's win, Srikanth topped the Group H with two points. The former World No.3 had won his opening match in straight sets over Lino Munoz of Mexico.

In the match that lasted 34 minutes, Srikanth stamped his authority with his strokes and also pushed his rival to make mistakes. He thus avenged his loss to Henri in 2014 Swiss Open.

Srikanth is the only badminton player from India in the men’s singles category and he is competing in his first Olympics.

The man from Guntur has come a long way since he picked up the racquet as an eight-year-old. At 22, he is world No 3 in men’s singles. A peak that has been scaled only by two other Indian men―Prakash Padukone and P. Gopichand.

On November 15, 2014, Srikanth won the China Open Super Series Premier by beating Lin Dan, double Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion. The capacity crowd in Fuzhou, China, was stunned. Until then, only two players had beaten Lin post-London 2012―world No 2 Jan Jorgensen and former world No 4 Sony Dwi Kuncuro.

In June 2014, before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Srikanth was world No 29. Then, a bout of brain fever put him in intensive care.

In the week preceding the China Open, he broke into the top ten. Before the China Open win, he had won the 2013 Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold and was the runner-up in the 2014 Indian Open Grand Prix Gold. In 2015, he has won the Swiss Open and the Indian Open, both Super Series.

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