Aparna storms into 2nd round at Anaheim

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:53 IST

India's top woman shuttler Aparna Popat won the opening round of the 14th World Badminton Championships at Anaheim, United States.

New Delhi:

India's top woman shuttler Aparna Popat has won the opening round of the 14th World Badminton Championships at Anaheim, United States. She made a fine start breezing past 10th seed Petya Nedeltcheva of Bulgaria with a 11-6 11-9 win. Popat played with fire and took only 30 minutes to seal the issue in her favour. In the men's event, National Champion Arvind Bhat, who had a tough draw against Athen's Olympic bronze medallist and 11th seeded Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand, bowed out in straight games 6-15 6-9. World Number 27, Popat and Nedeltcheva had a 1-1 head-to-head record before going into the match with the Indian having beaten her Bulgarian rival in the Swiss Open earlier this year. Medal hope Popat, who is unseeded here, has a comparatively easy outing in her next round when she faces New Zealand's Rebecca Bellingham. The Kiwi reached the second round by beating Ragna Ingolfsdottir of Iceland 13-11 11-4. Twenty-seven year-old Popat is India's best medal hope in the four-member team taking part in the Championship. In the men's doubles event, 42-ranked India's Thomas and Rupesh Kumar, who got a bye in the first round, will face second-seeded Indonesian pair of Sigit Budiarto and Candra Wijaya on Thursday. (PTI)

Topics : Badminton Saina Nehwal
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