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PV Sindhu knocks out defending champion Nozomi Okuhara to enter semis of Badminton World Championships

first_imgSaina, Praneeth, Ashwini-Satwik exit Badminton WorldsNanjing: Women’s singles star P.V, Sindhu was the lone Indian to enter the semi-finals of the Badminton World Championships, with Saina Nehwal, B. Sai Praneeth and the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa losing in the quarter-finals here on Friday.Third seed Sindu, facing Japanese Nozomi Okuhara, who defeated her at the previous edition’s final, won 21-17, 21-19 in 58 minutes. Also Read – Meghalayan mid-fielder Phrangki Buam joins ISL side FC Goa In both games, Okuhara was strong at the beginning but once Sindhu caught up with her, the Japanese failed to control the Hyderabadi, who came into the match with a 6-5 record in head-to-head.In the semi-final, three-time World Championships medallist Sindhu will take on another Japanese, second seed Akane Yamaguchi, who ousted Chinese fifth seed Chen Yufei with a 21-13, 17-21, 21-16 victory in an hour and eight minutes. Also Read – COVID-19: Football team observes ‘social distancing’ during match, loses 37-0Earlier in the day, Saina, the 10th seed, was outclassed by Spanish seventh seed and two-time world champion Carolina Marin, who cruised to a 21-6, 21-11 victory in 31 minutes to move into the last four round.The win was Spaniard Carolina’s fifth in 10 meetings against the veteran Indian, a two-time medallist at the World Championships.On Saturday, Carolina will meet China’s sixth seed He Bingjiao, who eliminated top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei with a 21-18, 7-21, 21-13 win. Also Read – Big push to sports infra in Mizoram, gets Khelo India State CentreWith five titles from six events this year, Tai headed into the World Championships as the overwhelming favourite. However He, world no. 7, had a better start by narrowly taking the first game 21-18.In the second game, Tai appeared to have things under control with an 8-0 lead and eventually leveled the match by winning the set 21-7.But Tai fell apart again in the decisive set as He maintained the lead from the early start and cruised to victory, the biggest upset at this year’s tournament so far. Also Read – Manipur’s Thounaojam Kritina Devi all set to be part of the FIFA U-17 World Cup”Today I made several mistakes in the third set, and also had some simple faults in the opening set,” admitted Tai. It’s only the second loss for Tai this year in 36 matches.India also had disappointments in the mixed doubles, with the unseeded pair of Satwik and Ashwini falling to Chinese top seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong 17-21, 10-21 in 36 minutes.In the men’s singles, B. Sai Praneeth lost 12-21, 12-21 in 39 minutes to Japanese sixth seed Kento Momota. The Indian couldn’t match up to the speed, accuracy and power of the rising star from Japan.Top seed Viktor Axelsen was edged out by China’s two-time world champion Chen Long as the Dane became the fourth reigning world No.1 to bid farewell to the tournament. Chen prevailed 21-19, 21-11 in 59 minutes.Axelsen was the attacking side in the majority of the match, jumping up high to unleash ultra-fast smashes from time to time. But Chen’s patience paid off as the Dane committed frequent faults, which made him swing his racket with anxiety.Chen seized the game point at 20-18 when Axelsen’s return was called out and the video review said the same. The eighth seed successfully converted the game point and earned himself a 1-0 advantage.Chen sustained his momentum into the second game while the defending champion was still troubled by errors. A last “out!” by the line judge confirmed Axelsen’s elimination after a 11-21 loss.Chen Long will take on compatriot Shi Yuqi in the semi-finals on Saturday after the latter got past Chinese Taipei’s seventh seed Chou Tien Chen 16-21, 21-15, 21-18.Chen, the Olympic gold medallist holds a 4-1 head-to-head advantage against his teammate but was bested in their last encounter in the quarter-finals of the All-England Open this year. IANSlast_img read more

Poe’s Perspective: Serena’s willingness to speak should be admired

first_imgBy now, the debacle of Serena Williams and the U.S. Open is old news. Everyone knows about the alleged cheating, the racket throw, the “thief” comment and all of its fallout. But while it might be easy to move on from this controversy, I’ve found over the last week that the incident was a frightening barometer for the attitude of the sports world towards black female athletes.It must be pointed out that the U.S. Open wasn’t having a stellar year in gender equity before Serena entered the mix. Days before, French tennis player Alizé Cornet was penalized after she rushed to change her shirt during a heat break, then took it off to turn it right-side-out on the court shortly before resuming play. In the same tournament, male stars John Isner and Novak Djokovic had removed their shirts and sat shirtless without receiving penalties, and the disparity earned mass criticism from sports fans across the country. The foundation for an apparent pattern of unbalanced violation enforcement already existed before Serena and her opponent, Naomi Osaka, even took the court on Saturday afternoon.And for Serena, maybe, it just felt like it was all just too much. This moment can’t be taken out of context for her, either. The star battled a life-threatening complication after delivering her child last year, then was banned from wearing a suit made to help her condition at the French Open. This is a woman who has been questioned and criticized with open abandon for the entirety of her career. Now, she has been accused of cheating and robbed of a game point by a man in a chair who was abnormally strict in his enforcement. Maybe on Saturday, with her game slipping against a young challenger and her body tiring after an exhausting year of competition, it all just felt like too much. As we transition away from the Open weekend, the issue now, however, isn’t whether Serena was right or wrong. The debate over Carlos Ramos’ decision raged over the weekend, but it’s midweek now, and attention is turning already away from tennis and back to Thursday Night Football and College GameDay. There won’t ever be a conclusion to that debate. Sports media thrives off of debates — Was that a catch? Was that a foul? Were those balls deflated? The question now isn’t the “right or wrong” of the debate. It’s the way that the two black women at its center have been treated by those on either side.No voice has been minimalized more in American culture than the voice of the black woman. Black women are silenced, ignored and oppressed more than almost any other figure (perhaps, besides, Native and trans people) in our country, and this pattern polices our expectation for them.Nothing is more strictly regulated than the anger of a black woman. Just look at the way Serena’s actions have been described. The most commonly used word was “meltdown,” a word that paints the picture of a woman throwing a tantrum, not of an athlete aggressively advocating for her rights. Serena’s actions are repeated by many — mainly white — men in the game, yet they are not seen as threatening or overemotional. The difference is clear. Men may voice their opinions in firm tones. Men may be bullies. But women are expected to be docile, calm, respectful. This myth of the calm woman actually comes from the fear of women who are the opposite — fiery, strong, unafraid of challenge.This fear is best represented by an Australian cartoon that ran this week, which depicted Serena in an aggressively racist fashion based off of Mammy cartoons from the 1930s. Even if the umpire’s decision wasn’t racist or sexist, the reaction to Serena’s conduct has been unendingly so. It’s not just racist caricatures, either. One of the arguments against Serena that I’ve heard most often is that she stole the show from her opponent, the 20-year-old Osaka who became the first Japanese woman to win the Open. Somehow, it became Serena’s fault that the crowd booed during the trophy presentation, that the national headlines focused on the American runner-up rather than the Japanese winner.This is not fair, and you wouldn’t see it with male competitors. Serena should not stay silent and stop advocating for herself just because Osaka is making history, and this expectation that she should step aside to lift up other women is yet another double standard that is often foisted on women in sports.Women should be allowed to be competitors. They should be allowed to argue with referees, to complain about violation calls, in the same way that LeBron James is allowed to, without nationwide controversy. This expectation of deference is common, yet it unfairly expects female athletes to put other women’s needs above themselves. That expectation must be erased in order for female athletes to be able to equally advocate for themselves.Win or lose, Serena’s willingness to speak for herself should be applauded, not condemned. And until that sentiment is widely felt, the world of sports will not be equal for men and women.Julia Poe is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs Thursdays.last_img read more