Upcoming talent Mithun Manjunath knocked out seventh seeded Malaysian Cheam June Wei as Indians Indians captured all quarterfinal spots in men’s singles in the $75,000 Odisha Open badminton tournament at Cuttack on Thursday.
Mithun, after impressive showings in the India Open and Syed Modi India International this month, is among the serious title-contenders in the grossly depleted field. He marched on following a 21-11, 21-18 victory in 40 minutes.
He now faces another exciting prospect, Priyanshu Rajawat. In the other quarterfinals, Kaushal Dharmamer will play Abhyansh Singh, third seed Subhankar Dey meets Kiran George and Ansal Yadav takes on Tharun Mannepalli.
Like the men’s singles, all eight women singles quarterfinal spots could have come India’s way had USA’s Ishika Jaiswal not saved four match-points against Deepshikha Singh to win 18-21, 27-25, 21-18. All other pre-quarterfinals ended in straight games.
With all the higher-ranked players no longer in the fray, Malvika Bansod and Ashmita Chahila, ranked 67 and 69, are firmly on course to set up the title-clash.
In the quarterfinals, Malvika clashes with Tanya Hemanth, Samiya Imad Farroqui meets Unnati Hooda, Ashmita plays Rhucha Sawant and Ishika challenges Smit Toshniwal.