Pawar, Thulasi storm into final

Indian shuttlers Anand Pawar and PC Thulasi made it to the men’s and women’s singles finals of the Sri Lanka Open International Badminton Challenge here on Saturday.

Second seed Pawar beat 16th seed local challenger Dinuka Karunaratna 21-12, 15-21, 21-11 in a 50-minute men’s singles semifinal contest. But top seed HS Prannoy lost to unseeded Hyun Il Lee of Korea 10-21, 21-16, 13-21 in another semifinal contest to dash the hopes of an all-Indian final on Sunday. 

Earlier in the day, Pawar thrashed Denmark’s Christian Lind Thomsen 21-14, 21-13 in a quarterfinal match that lasted 36 minutes. Prannoy had prevailed over compatriot Anup Sridhar, seeded 13th, with the latter retiring midway in the second game when he was trailing 13-21, 4-13 in another quarterfinal.

Thulasi reached the final in women’s section after beating Thailand’s Supanida Katethong 21-13, 21-8. Thulasi will take on fourth seed Jiayuan Chen of Singapore in the final.

Second seeded Indian pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B defeated Chinese Taipei’s Hsuan Wen Chang and Shang Kai Lin 21-12, 18-21, 21-13.

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