Dubai, May 27 (IANS) Top Indian para-shuttlers led by Paralympics champion Pramod Bhagat (MS SL3), Tarun Dhillon, Manasi Joshi and Parul Parmar advanced to the quarterfinals here, continuing their winning march through the group stage at the 4th Fazza Dubai Para-badminton International 2022 here.
Bhagat, the highest-ranked player in Men’s Standing Lower (SL3) category, lived up to his billing as he topped the group stage with three wins as the group stage matches ended late on Thursday.
The Odisha-born player is also through to the last-8 stage of the mixed doubles along with Manisha Ramadass, who is expected to advance in her women’s singles SU5 and women’s doubles SL3-SU5 with Mandeep Kaur.
“It has been a good two weeks so far. I hope to continue the golden run in Dubai as well and keep my winning record here. These competitive matches are important to me as we have the big one later this year, the World Para Championships in Japan,” the reigning world and Paralympic champion Bhagat, who is set to play Indian junior Nihal Gupta in the quarters, was quoted as saying by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) in a release on Friday.
Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Manoj Sarkar and Nitesh Kumar, placed in the lower half of the draw in men’s singles SL3, and promising Hardik Makkar and Chirag Baretha (both in men’s singles SU5) are also through to the quarterfinals.
Dhillon in quarters of three events
In men’s SL4, Tarun Dhillon will play Korea’s Cho Nadan in the quarterfinals and is expected to be challenged by Thailand’s Siripong Teamarrom in the semifinals. A summit clash between Dhillon and Indonesian Fredy Setiawan looks likely.
Dhillon is also through to the last-8 stage of men’s doubles SL3-SL4 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5 events.
Among other names, top seeds Malaysian Cheah Liek Hou (MS SU5), Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai (MS SH6), Japan’s Daiki Kajiwara, and Hong Kong’s Chan Ho Yuen (MS WH2,) Indonesians Setiawan (MS SL4) and Suryo Nugroho (MS SU5) all topped their groups and advanced to the quarterfinals.
Joshi, Parmar, Manisha, and Nithya advance
In the women’s events, India’s reigning world champion Manasi Joshi, and Parul Parmar (women’s singles SL3) advanced as did Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan, who should make it to the finals of women’s singles SH6.
Promising Manisha Ramadass continued her good run and is through to the women’s singles quarterfinals SU5. She is expected to face Denmark’s Cathrine Rosengren in the semifinals.