A series of injuries derailing his Rio Olympic dreams, a fit-again P Kashyap will resume his journey in international badminton when he competes at the Indonesia Grand Prix Gold here tomorrow.
London Olympics quarterfinalist Kashyap along with seven other Indians, including 2014 champion H S Prannoy, will be looking to make a mark in the men’s singles event, starting tomorrow.
For Kashyap, it started with a calf muscle tear in October last year, before an abdominal strain further affected his recovery process. But the final nail on his Olympic dream was when he suffered a knee injury and retired midway in the German Open in March.
Kashyap also had to go under the knife and what followed was rigorous physiotherapy to get back on court. Now that the worst phase of his career is over, Kashyap will now be eyeing steady progress ahead.
“I’ve trained hard in the last two months. I just want to play and enjoy competing again. It’ll take a couple of matches or tournaments to hit a good rhythm. The faster the better,” Kashyap said. “I’m feeling ok, there are niggles here and there but I’m ok. I wouldn’t enter a tournament if I didn’t feel good.”
The Commonwealth Games champion will face local shuttler Nathaniel Ernestan Sulistyo in the first round.
Among others, seventh seed Prannoy, who also had to deal with a foot injury and a back problem in the last few months, will take on Korean Ha Young Woong in the opening round. Third seed Ajay Jayaram will meet local favourite Yehezkiel Fritz Mainaky, while Canada Open winner B Sai Praneeth, seeded 10th, will face local shuttler Riyanto Subagja.
Young shuttlers Harsheel Dani, Siril Verma, Kaushal Dharmamer and Abhishek Yelegar are also in the fray. While Harsheel will have the uphill task of taming home favourite Simon Santoso, hiterto-unknown Kaushal will meet another local shuttler in Reksy Aureza Megananda. Siril will square up against Malaysia’s Wei Feng Chong, seeded 16th, while Abhishek will take on Indonesia’s Fikri Ihsandi Hadmadi.
In women’s singles, P C Thulasi will have a difficult customer in fourth seed Xiaoyu Liang of Singapore in the opening round, while Tanvi Lad will be up against another Indonesian Ruselli Hartawan. Ruthvika Shivani Gadde will face Indonesia’s Hana Ramadhini in the opening round.
Indian men’s doubles pair of K Nandagopal and Sanyam Shukla also advanced to the main draw after notching up consecutive wins in the qualifiers today. Nandagopal and Shukla defeated Indonesian pair of Kaizar Bobby Alexander and Ferdian Fascal 21-11, 21-10 and then prevailed 21-12, 21-19 over Indonesia’s Raynaldi Dita Kusuma and Thailand’s Bowornwatanuwong Phutthaporn.
The Indian duo will take on seventh seeded Indonesian Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Markis Kido in the main draw.
In the other qualifying rounds, men’s singles players Ansal Yadav and Talar Laa survived the opening round but faced reversals in the second round to bow out of the tournament.
While Ansal beat Muhammad Nizar 21-10, 23-21 before losing 21-14, 19-21, 12-21 to Alamsyah Yunus, Talar notched up a thrilling 21-16, 19-21, 21-17 win over Rizky Doka Putra and then lost 23-21, 10-21, 19-21 to Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo.
Women’s singles player Reshma Karthik defeated local shuttler Erlina Kurnianti 21-12, 21-12 in the opening round but lost in the second round against Desandha Vegarani Putri 20-22, 13-21 at the Gedung Dome.
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